Flouride Treatment for Children in Santa Cruz & Capitola
Fluoride is a natural substance that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay in patients of all ages. It is found in water sources, certain foods (meat, fish, and eggs), and in toothpaste, rinses, and professional treatments from your dentist. Sufficient fluoride treatment is most important for children, to ensure extra protection against cavities in their developing teeth. Fluoride serves two important dental functions. First, it helps to reduce mineral loss from tooth enamel, and second, it promotes the remineralization of tooth enamel.
When carbohydrates (sugars) are consumed, oral bacteria feed on them and produce harmful acids. These acids attack tooth enamel – especially in children who take medications or produce less saliva. Repeated acid attacks result in cavities, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. Fluoride protects tooth enamel from acid attacks and reduces the risk of tooth decay. Fluoride is especially effective when used as part of a good oral hygiene regimen. Reducing the consumption of sugary foods, brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting the pediatric dentist every six months, all supplement the work of fluoride and keep young teeth healthy.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states that fluoridated toothpaste is recommended for all children starting at tooth eruption, regardless of caries risk. A smear (the size of a grain of rice) of toothpaste should be used up to age 3. After the 3rd birthday, a pea-sized amount may be used. Parents should dispense toothpaste for young children and supervise and assist with brushing. Fluoride varnish is recommended in the primary care setting every 3–6 months starting at tooth emergence. Over-the-counter fluoride rinse is not recommended for children younger than 6 years due to risk of swallowing higher-than-recommended levels of fluoride.
Capitola Kids Dentistry agrees with the AAPD, but we respect all of our patient’s families and their personal decision to accept or decline fluoride treatments.