The effects of fluoride have been debated for years, but as with anything controversial that could affect your health, there is a lot of misunderstanding about what fluoride is, what it does, and why it can be beneficial (or dangerous) for human health.
When it comes to children’s health, the debate escalates. Especially since dentists consider it healthy and give advice to older children and adults, it is often not the same for newborns and newborns. Fluoride vs. no fluoride conflict shows any signs of abating, but there are some basic facts to keep in mind when deciding on fluoride and children which are recommended by Pediatric Dentistry Indianapolis IN.
What Is Fluoride and How Does It Affect You?
Fluoride is a mineral that can be found in the environment, including in air, water, plants and rocks. It can happen naturally, but it can also be included in products such as toothpaste and drinking water. Fluoride is used in many dental products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash, as it helps prevent tooth decay in humans.
Although fluoride is good and even important for the oral health of all human beings, newborns and very young children do not need fluoride like older children and adults.
What Is the Significance of Fluoride?
Fluoride is mostly used to promote dental health in humans. When we eat, the microorganisms in our mouths help digest sugars and carbohydrates. When these foods are broken down, an acid is formed, which can end up on the protective layer of our teeth, the enamel.
Fluoride helps to heal tooth enamel and can also prevent it from deteriorating already. Fluoride penetrates the crystal structure of the enamel, resulting in a stronger, denser enamel shell than the enamel that is not exposed to the fluoride. Fluoride is often added to toothpaste and mouthwash because of its beneficial dental health benefits.
Is Fluoride Beneficial to Children?
According to Children Dental Indianapolis IN, Babies and young children ingest toothpaste while getting their teeth cleaned due to their inability to spit correctly. Ingesting a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash is safe, but swallowing too much may be harmful. As a result, while administering toothpaste and brushing their teeth, children who are unable to properly spit should be supervised by an adult.
Is Fluoride Necessary for Babies?
Fluoride is not required for babies under the age of six months. Fluoride supplements or fluoride drops for newborns might be discussed during a 6-month visit with a physician.
Brushing with a dab or a smear of fluoride toothpaste — no larger than the size of a grain of rice — should begin providing fluoride to newborns as their teeth emerge. You don’t have to use “baby toothpaste” if you don’t want to. Any fluoride toothpaste available over the counter would suffice.
Is Fluoride Harmful to Children?
A little amount of fluoride in the diet for newborns isn’t harmful, but like with other things, too much fluoride may be harmful. While newborns and children need less fluoride than adults, extremely low fluoride dosages are not detrimental to babies under the age of six months.
When a baby’s teeth start to appear, adding dental hygiene routines, such as using fluoride toothpaste, may help safeguard the emerging teeth. For newborns, use little more than a dab of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice, since they are prone to swallowing toothpaste.
By their first birthday, babies should have their first dental visit, and a pediatric dentist can help you begin your child on the right road to good oral hygiene.
Fluoride Is Ingested By Children In A Variety Of Ways
Fluoride is ingested in two major ways by everyone to promote dental health: via drinking water and dental supplies. It is preferable to get fluoride from both sources since this ensures that you get the proper quantity of fluoride to keep your teeth healthy. Depending on your child’s overall cavity risk, your pediatrician or pediatric dentist may suggest or prescribe a fluoride supplement if there is inadequate fluoride in your local drinking water.
Fluoride is present in most towns in the United States, either naturally or artificially added. Fluoride levels in drinking water are tightly regulated, so you won’t get too much fluoride by drinking a typical quantity of water each day.
Whether you have a well, you should check to determine if it is fluoridated and, if so, how much fluoridated it is. There is a limit on how much fluoride water may contain in the United States, so be sure yours doesn’t go over it.
Formula-fed infants may have their formula produced with fluoridated water, although it’s preferable to use distilled fluoridated baby water. In towns like Portland, where the water supply is not fluoridated, bottled fluoridated water is a wonderful choice for parents. However, you should contact with your pediatric dentist to find out which sort of water is ideal for mixing formula.
Fluoride for infants’ teeth is essential for optimum dental health, therefore if your water lacks fluoride, see your dentist to determine whether your baby need supplements such as fluoride drops for babies.
Dental Supplies Containing Fluoride
Another strategy to guarantee that children and adults receive enough fluoride to keep their teeth clean is to use over-the-counter oral hygiene products like toothpaste and mouth rinse. It is absolutely safe and appropriate to use fluoridated dental products in addition to fluoridated water.
Fluoride varnish is a kind of fluoride that is often used during dental cleanings. It is applied to the teeth and enables for a high level of fluoride absorption into the enamel. Topical fluoride varnish should be applied to your child’s teeth 2-4 times a year, depending on their overall cavity risk.
Another anti-cavity spot therapy is silver diamine fluoride, which helps to prevent and reverse cavities. Fluoride is also used in various dental filling materials and crown cements.
Too much fluoride, like everything else, may be detrimental, and in severe cases of overexposure (such as ingesting several tubes of toothpaste in a single sitting), even death. When youngsters are appropriately monitored, systemic poisoning is uncommon.
Too much systemic fluoride, which is the most typical trend, may cause discolouration or pitting of permanent teeth. Because their permanent teeth are still forming, the hazards of overexposure are particularly severe for youngsters under the age of eight. Too much fluoride may induce enamel fluorosis, which causes the enamel of a child’s adult teeth to darken.
The majority of occurrences of enamel fluorosis are minor and are caused by a youngster using too much toothpaste or mouthwash. Too much fluoride in a child’s system may make them sick, with symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea that can last up to 24 hours.
Overexposure to fluoride may be avoided in many ways, the simplest of which is to keep toothpaste and mouthwashes out of reach of little children.