WHY DOES MY CHILD NEED FLUORIDE?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in drinking water and many foods. It plays an important role in your child’s oral health by strengthening their tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. Acid attacks you child’s teeth, but fluoride reduces the amount of acid bacteria can produce - and even helps to reverse the damage this acid causes. The addition of fluoride to water has been proven to reduce tooth decay by 40-60%.
WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD START USING FLUORIDE TOOTHPASTE?
As soon as they get their first tooth. Children under the age of three should use toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years, their toothpaste should contain a fluoride level of between 1350ppm and 1500ppm. It’s important you supervise their brushing until they are around seven years old. Children tend to swallow most of their toothpaste, so ensure they use only a pea-sized amount. Older children can use an adult toothpaste.
Did you know?
Research into fluoride dates back as far as 1901 when a communal water source in Colorado Springs was found to affect the colour of everyone’s teeth.
WHAT IS FLUORIDE VARNISH?
This is a simple treatment whereby a dentist or nurse will paint a varnish containing concentrated levels of fluoride onto the surface of your child’s tooth. The varnish strengthens tooth enamel, helping to protect their teeth from decay. From the age of three, all children should be given a fluoride varnish application at least twice a year - or more often if needed. At mydentist, all children over the age of three years old can have fluoride varnishes for free.
Find out more about fluoride varnish here
IS FLUORIDE SAFE?
There have been many studies into the health benefits of fluoride. These have shown fluoride to be of great benefit to dental health, helping to reduce tooth decay and causing no harmful side effects to general health. Children who swallow too much fluoride over long periods of time can develop white spots on their teeth. However, the risk of developing white spots as a result of fluoride varnish is very low.