How To Use Fluoride For Better Pediatric Oral Health

How To Use Fluoride For Better Pediatric Oral Health

Posted by Stonewall Dental Associates on Apr 15 2021, 11:31 PM

Maintaining a good oral health regimen is essential for all age groups. But it is important to note that the dental needs of children are different from those of adults. For example, kids are prone to have a sweet tooth. They like to munch on candies, chocolates, and desserts more than adults do. Therefore, children are more prone to the effects of overindulgence of sweets. And one of the major effects is the formation of dental caries.

Dental caries, commonly called tooth decay or cavities, occur when acids in the mouth corrode the enamel of the teeth. These acids are sometimes produced when bacteria in the mouth interact with sugar. Luckily, this can be prevented by making the use of fluoride a part of their daily routine.

However, we have to again take into account the differences between children and adults. Children don’t have the same threshold for chemicals as adults do, so we therefore must exercise moderation in the use of fluoride. Let us take a look at what fluoride can do and how it can be used.

How Fluoride Prevents Caries

Fluoride helps prevent caries in two different ways — by topical and systemic mechanisms. These mechanisms include stopping tooth demineralization, reducing bacterial metabolism, and increasing remineralization. Various studies certified by the CDC suggest that fluoride interferes with bacteria finding homes in the teeth. Although the topical use of fluoride is known to provide most of the benefits, its systemic usage enables tooth development by hardening the enamel and making it resistant to demineralization.

Fluoride's Availability in Different Forms

As mentioned earlier, fluoride comes in two forms, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

  • Topical fluoride: The most common sources of topical fluoride are toothpaste and mouthwashes. These oral hygiene products can be used daily once tooth eruption occurs. The AAP also urges kids age 6 and older to use mouth rinses to prevent caries.
  • Systemic fluoride: Systemic fluoride is basically fluoride in the form of dietary supplements in case children don’t get enough fluoride in their water.

To help ensure that a child would have a productive adult life, the child’s oral health must be maintained. Hence, children should learn to use fluoride from an early age as part of their daily oral routine. 

Consult with your pediatric dentist at Stonewall Dental Associates by calling at (703) 368-1000 to understand the right amount of fluoride to use.


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