Fluoride & Your Child

Online Dental Education Library

Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

Child drinking water.Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is essential for proper tooth development and the prevention of tooth decay. In communities throughout the United States, tooth decay may still be a significant problem — but it is far less prevalent than it would have been, if not for the fluoridation of public water supplies. That's why the major associations of pediatric dentists and doctors support water fluoridation to the current recommended levels of 0.70 parts per million (ppm). It's also why the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called fluoridated water one of the most significant health achievements of the 20th century.

Of course, not everyone has access to fluoridated water. That's one reason why a fluoride supplement is often recommended for your child and/or the use of toothpastes and other products that contain this important mineral. Because it is possible for children to get too much fluoride, it is best to seek professional advice on the use of any fluoride-containing product.

How Fluoride Helps

The protective outer layer of teeth, called enamel, is often subject to attacks from acids. These can come directly from acidic foods and beverages, such as sodas and citrus fruits — or sometimes through a middleman: the decay-causing bacteria already in the mouth that create acid from sugar. These bacteria congregate in dental plaque and feed on sugar that is not cleansed from your child's mouth. In metabolizing (breaking down) sugar, the bacteria produce acids that can eat through tooth enamel. This is how cavities are formed. When fluoride is present, it becomes part of the crystalline structure of tooth enamel, hardening it and making it more resistant to acid attack. Fluoride can even help repair small cavities that are already forming.

Delivering Fluoride to the Teeth

Correct amount of toothpaste for children.

Fluoride ingested by children in drinking water or supplements can be taken up by their developing permanent teeth. Once a tooth has erupted, it can be strengthened by fluoride topically (on the surface). Using a fluoride-containing toothpaste is one way to make sure your children's teeth receive helpful fluoride exposure daily. We recommend using only a pea-sized amount for children ages 2-6 and just a tiny smear for kids under two. Fluoride should not be used on children younger than six months. A very beneficial way to deliver fluoride to the teeth is with topical fluoride applications painted right onto your child's teeth and allowed to sit for a few minutes for maximum effectiveness.

How Much Is Too Much?

Teeth that are over-exposed to fluoride as they are forming beneath the gum line can develop a condition called enamel fluorosis, which is characterized by a streaked or mottled appearance. Mild fluorosis takes the form of white spots that are hard to see. In more severe cases (which are rare), the discoloration can be darker, with a pitted texture. The condition is not harmful, but may eventually require cosmetic dental treatment. Tooth decay, on the other hand, is harmful to your child's health and can also be quite painful in severe cases.

The risk for fluorosis ends by the time a child is about 9 and all the permanent teeth have fully formed. Since fluoride use is cumulative, all the sources your child comes in contact with — including powdered infant formula mixed with fluoridated tap water — need to be evaluated. While caution is advised, however, it would be a mistake to forgo the benefits that this important mineral can bring to your child's teeth — and his or her overall health.

Related Articles

   
Fluoride - Dear Doctor Magazine

Fluoride and Fluoridation in Dentistry The Center for Disease Control says that water fluoridation is “One of the ten most important public health measures of the 20th century.” Extensive systematic reviews of the evidence conclusively show that water fluoridation and fluoride toothpastes both substantially reduce dental decay. Learn why through the amazing fluoride story... Read Article

   
Topical Fluoride - Dear Doctor Magazine

Topical Flouride Fluoride has a unique ability to strengthen tooth enamel and make it more resistant to decay. That's why dentists often apply it directly to the surfaces of children's teeth after routine dental cleanings. This surface (topical) application can continue to leach fluoride into the tooth surface for a month or more... Read Article

   
Tooth Decay - Dear Doctor Magazine

Tooth Decay — A Preventable Disease Tooth decay is the number one reason children and adults lose teeth during their lifetime. Yet many people don't realize that it is a preventable infection. This article explores the causes of tooth decay, its prevention, and the relationship to bacteria, sugars, and acids... Read Article


OFFICE HOURS
Monday: 09:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 09:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 09:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday: 09:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

  • High quality service, super friendly and professional staff.

    ***** By Rany K. on 12/15/2017

 

  • Best dentist I've ever had
    Dr. Channo does great work. He's courteous and fast. Never an issue with his work and his staff is amazing. If you're looking for a dentist or not happy with you're current one, go see Dr. Chano. You won't be disappointed. Never a billing issue with the insurance company like I had at multiple other places in the past.

    ***** By Michael M. on 11/13/2017

 

  • A very good experience!! Terrific staff and very helpful!

    ***** By Bernie K. on 09/02/2017

 

  • Great Dentist
    All went very well! Doc Channo is awesome and painless! For that matter his staff is also Awesome!!!

    ***** By Stan C. on 05/20/2017

 

  • Always professional, efficient and top quality
    In my 9th year as a patient at Art Dentistry Center, I can honestly say that the professionalism, efficiency and expertise continue to be the best. I had x-rays and a cleaning done this morning. Thorough, all questions answered and out the door. My dental hygiene is really good at 62 because of what they have taught me.

    ***** By Nancy S. on 05/02/2017

 

  • Professional, Very kind
    Took my daughter in because a tooth was bothering her. The dentist staff were extremely friendly and took care of everything quickly. I already have more appointments scheduled!

    ***** By Andrea B. on 04/04/2017

 

  • So far I have gotten my teeth cleaned twice and I just recently had 4 fillings done, and I have had nothing but the best service ever. Their receptionist is sweet, my dental hygienist is great, and my dentist is understanding. When I had to get my teeth filled, I was supposed to only have 3 of them done on one side at one appointment and then do the last one on a different day. I arrived at the office as nervous as ever because I absolutely hate the Novocain shot. The dentist offered anxiety medication, but I didn't have a ride home. He then stated that my cavities weren't very deep and could do them without the Novocain. I went with that option and didn't feel any pain at all!! I'm so happy he offered to let me go without the Novocain because no other dentist has done that for me. I actually opted to get the 4th tooth done right then and there to get it all over with. I love this dentist office and will recommend them to everyone!

    ***** By Sarah R. on 09/01/2016

 

  • Excellent Rating- I love this dentist! Fantastic staff with excellent environment and service! I wish they accepted Meridian Insurance!!! 

    ***** By Cynthia R. on 08/03/2016 (Published on RateABiz)

 

  • High quality service, professional Doctor and staff
    I recommend Dr Channo, he's professional and very pleasant.

     

    ***** By Aslan S on 06/28/2016 (Published on RateABiz)

 

  • "Art Dentistry Center gives my family and me more reasons to smile."

     

    - The Johnson Family.

 

 

 

  • I have always received a professional and very good service on my dental needs when visiting Art Dental. Very nice staff and service.

     

    - Jeff H

 

Contact Us