Many towns and cities have fluoride in their drinking water, does yours? For the longest time I thought my town had fluoride in the water but I was surprised when my son’s pediatrician said the town in which I live did not.
Some people disagree with fluoride in the drinking water, but it has been proven that small quantities of fluoride are safe and effective. Fluoride can help strengthen the enamel of teeth, prevent cavities from forming, acid attacks from harming the enamel, strengthen areas that are weakened and prevent decay. Fluoride is especially recommended for young children because their teeth and gums are establishing. As there are many positive effects that come from the use of fluoride, there are some negative effects as well. Too much fluoride can cause white specks or streaks and even brown discoloration on children’s teeth.
Oral hygiene is a very important step in a child’s proper development and it doesn’t just start with brushing your child’s teeth. Proper pre-natal oral hygiene of the mother can be just as important to your unborn child’s oral health. After birth, before the teeth have begun to break through, it is important after feedings to wipe the gums with a soft cloth to remove any access residue from the infants gums. Once the teeth start breaking through, it is important to brush the teeth even if it’s with a soft toothbrush and water to start the process to healthy oral hygiene. For children under 2 years of age with your help, they can brush their teeth with a soft toothbrush and fluoride free toothpaste or even a smear of fluoride toothpaste. It is recommended that children ages 2 to 5 use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing and always with proper supervision. Always be sure to use a soft toothbrush, it is the easiest on their soft gums.
I know it may seem crazy but many doctors recommend that children see a dentist as early as 18 months. The reasoning behind this is to get the child familiar with the dentist’s office at a young age and instill proper oral care in them starting young. It also helps to make parents more aware of their child’s oral hygiene needs.
Make sure you ask your pediatrician whether fluoride is right for your child’s oral health. They may even be able to prescribe multi-vitamins that contain fluoride in them.
Help your child have a healthy, happy smile!
Follow the link to find out if there is fluoride in your drinking water.
Fluoride in your drinking water
Find more information about proper oral hygiene and fluoride by visiting the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Website.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
New York State Dental Association Website:
New York State Dental Association
Information on keeping your child’s teeth healthy:
keeping your child’s teeth healthy