Fluoride For Kids: The Importance Of Getting Enough But Not Too Much

Fluoride is a mineral that dentists talk about often, especially when it comes to the oral health of kids. Kids need fluoride in order to develop healthy, strong teeth, but many parents do not fully understand how much fluoride is really necessary and how much is too much. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for this, here are several things you should know as a parent if you want to make sure you are exposing your child's teeth to the right amount of fluoride.

Too much is not good

The first thing to know is that too much fluoride is not a good thing, especially for kids. Fluoride is great for teeth, but if a child gets too much of it, it can cause the child to develop a condition that dentists call dental fluorosis. This condition leaves white spots on the teeth when a child grows up. These spots might be evident when the child is young, too, but the spots are typically more prominent in the teeth of an adult. It is important to know that this condition can only develop when a child receives too much fluoride at the stage when teeth are still developing and erupting. If a child has all his or her permanent teeth and then receives too much fluoride, the child will not develop dental fluorosis.

Fluoride strengthens teeth

Secondly, you should understand that the reason fluoride is so important is due to the strengthening power it has. When teeth are developing, they need minerals, and fluoride is the main one needed. When there is enough fluoride exposure to developing teeth, the teeth will naturally be stronger and healthier.

The best ways to ensure that your child gets enough

There are numerous ways to make sure your child is getting enough fluoride, and one option is to make sure that the toothpaste the child uses contains fluoride. Secondly, it is important to know that if the water your child consumes has fluoride in it, and if the child brushes with fluoride toothpaste, he or she is likely getting enough fluoride exposure. You may also want to have your child use a mouth rinse that contains fluoride if you think he or she is not getting enough.

If you are still not sure if your child is getting enough fluoride exposure to his or her teeth, talk to your childrens dentist. Your dentist can help you determine if you should add more fluoride or decrease some from your child's life.