Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally and is found in some foods and is frequently added to public water supplies in carefully controlled amounts. Most toothpaste contains fluoride. It can also be taken as a supplement or applied topically to teeth during professional dental treatments. We frequently recommend fluoride treatment as a preventive measure.
Fluoride is useful for teeth because it hardens tooth enamel, so it becomes more resistant to the bacteria and acids that cause tooth decay. It reduces the harmful effects of dental plaque, a sticky biofilm that builds up over tooth surfaces between tooth brushing and which contains cavity-causing bacteria.
De-mineralization. The bacteria in plaque feed off leftover food particles, producing acids every time you eat something containing sugars or carbohydrates. The acid leaches minerals from tooth enamel, creating a condition called de-mineralization.
Re-mineralization. About half an hour after eating, acidity in the mouth declines, and the mouth begins to regain a more neutral pH level. At this stage, some of the minerals removed from teeth are redeposited back into tooth enamel as they are still present in saliva, a process called re-mineralization. Fluoride increases the effectiveness of re-mineralization.In our pediatric dentistry practice in Brooklyn we offer a wide variety of Fluoride treatments. Visit our center to learn more.
When your child visits our dental practice, we will discuss their dental health with you, including ensuring they receive enough fluoride. If a child has some problems with tooth decay, we can prescribe fluoride supplements in the form of drops or tablets that are ingested or will suggest topical applications of fluoride directly to their teeth.
Fluoride can be applied topically to teeth in several forms which include:
Fluoride foam or gel is applied to teeth using a mouth tray. The tray is filled with the appropriate amount of foam or gel and is inserted into the mouth. It remains in place for several minutes so the fluoride can penetrate the teeth.
Fluoride varnish is painted directly onto teeth and is left on the teeth for several hours or overnight before the remainder is brushed away.
Silver diamine fluoride is an excellent treatment for a child’s primary teeth and can treat teeth that have signs of cavities, preventing them from worsening. Just like fluoride varnish, silver diamine fluoride is painted directly onto affected tooth surfaces.
A fluoride mouth rinse can be purchased over the counter or we can provide professional strength fluoride mouth rinse at the end of a dental checkup and clean.
Generally, fluoride is extremely safe, but it is important to ensure you don’t use too much fluoride toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth and especially when they are too young to spit out the excess.
Also, don’t leave fluoridated dental products where children can reach them, in case they are tempted to eat the toothpaste or swallow mouth rinse. Fluoride can be toxic when consumed in large quantities, so if you suspect your child has ingested fluoridated dental products, contact your local doctor immediately.
Too much fluoride can result in a condition called dental fluorosis, which occurs when a child’s developing teeth are exposed to an excessive amount of fluoride.
Teeth with dental fluorosis can have lacy white flecks over the surfaces, or in more extreme cases, can have brown stains.
Dental fluorosis is harmless but can look unsightly.
It is unlikely to occur if your child drinks public water supplies where the amount of fluoride in the water is tightly regulated. It can occur if a child drinks well water where the fluoride levels might be too high.
In our pediatric dentistry center in Brooklyn we offer the latest fluoride treatments to prevent cavities including SDF. Come visit our children’s dental center and meet Dr. Khabensky DDS and Dr. Kim DDS. Our doctors provide personalized and comprehensive care for kids, teens and use natural techniques and organic measures whenever possible.
Pediatric Dentistry Center
2148 Ocean Ave, Ste 401A
Brooklyn, NY 11229