You may recognize fluoride as an ingredient in your toothpaste or mouth rinse, but what exactly is fluoride and why is it so important for your child’s developing teeth? Continue reading to learn more.
The Connection Between Fluoride and Dental Hygiene
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral which is found in plants, water, soil, and even air. Fluoride is consumed naturally in our food and water and might often be prescribed as a supplement. In the body, fluoride acts as a strengthening agent and offers a variety of benefits to our bones and teeth which is why fluoride is a commonly used substance in pediatric dentistry.
How Fluoride Benefits Your Teeth
Throughout the day, we consume a variety of minerals such as fluoride, phosphate, and calcium. These minerals are deposited onto the protective enamel layer of our teeth. Acid from sugars and plaque bacteria, however, will strip away these protective minerals. This process is known as demineralization and remineralization. If demineralization occurs faster than remineralization, then the enamel becomes weak which paves the way for cavities and tooth decay.
To strengthen and improve the health of enamel, fluoride treatments can be recommended or prescribed. These treatments help to rebuild weakened tooth enamel, prevent the growth of harmful oral bacteria, and can even reverse the early signs of tooth decay. Fluoride treatments can include mouth rinses and specialized toothpastes. It is always recommended to speak with your child’s dentist before considering these treatments on your own.
The Importance of Fluoride for Children
While fluoride is important to people of all ages, it is especially important between the age of 6 months and 16 years. This is when the primary and permanent teeth come in and additional care should be taken to ensure these developing teeth are strong and healthy. Your dentist can recommend a specific oral hygiene routine to ensure your child’s teeth remain as healthy and as strong as possible.
Pediatric Dentistry Services in Wilson, NC
If you are looking for a dentist for your child, contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. We are currently accepting new patients and look forward to helping you establish healthy routines for your child’s lifelong oral health. Give us a call to learn more or schedule your first appointment today.