Fluoride Treatments and Cavity Prevention in Children
While many parents would like to see their children grow to maturity without having a single cavity, that scenario is the exception rather than the rule. But don’t despair. There are many ways to help prevent cavities. Besides eating healthy foods and brushing twice daily, children can benefit from fluoride treatments every time they visit their dentist. In fact, fluoride treatments are believed to be essential to the health of your child’s teeth.
What is fluoride treatment?
A fluoride treatment is basically a mineral solution applied to teeth to make them stronger and help prevent cavities. This treatment contains advanced concentrations of the mineral and thus helps to strengthen teeth and make them more decay-resistant for a lifetime.
Generally speaking, fluoride treatments provide a much higher level of fluoride than what is commonly found in drinking water and toothpastes. The fluoride used in these treatments is effective when applied topically or administered systematically.
How is the fluoride treatment applied?
Fluoride treatments can be administered by your dentist or dental hygienist in a dental office. There are a number of ways this can be done. A fluoride varnish may be painted on the teeth surface or a mouth guard can be used to apply gel or foam directly to the surface of teeth. Fluoride varnish is the most effective method of topical application on children’s teeth. Some physicians and dentists may also recommend fluoride in tablet or liquid form, for home use. Experts say the most effective way to prevent cavities is to use more than a few sources of fluoride.
The role of fluoride treatment in cavity prevention:
Fluoride treatments can be a vital part of dental health. They help erupted teeth by penetrating the enamel and enhancing resistance to decay. They also increase the resistance of the teeth enamel against acid, help teeth to remineralize and decrease the speed at which cavities occur.
These treatments are typically given to children who already have cavities or are at risk of developing them. They are most recommended for children between the age of 6 months and 16 years to ensure maximum cavity protection in their developing teeth. However, adults who have sensitive root surfaces and deep fissures on their teeth surface can also benefit.
Healthy teeth are an essential part of your child’s overall health. In this regard, fluoride treatments are one of the most effective dental procedures your child can undergo to prevent cavities and maintain good dental health. It’s always important to speak to your dentist to find out which treatment is best for your child.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health.