Is fluoride beneficial and should I be giving it to my child?
Our Buderim dentists on the Sunshine Coast have helpful fluoride advice for parents! Read on…
Yes we know that fluoride is beneficial to the oral health of your child. We also know no that the main benefits of fluoride (strengthening weakened tooth enamel) are from it contacting the tooth surface and not from swallowing it (a bit like putting moisturiser onto the skin).
Fluoride also has the capacity to reduce the effects of decay causing bacteria in the mouth.
The simplest ways to get fluoride to contact the tooth surface is to have it in water (it strengthens the teeth as it passes over it) or toothpastes and mouth rinses. The biggest problem is getting fluoride to contact the teeth of small children without them ingesting too much fluoride.
That is why junior toothpastes were developed at 400ppm. There is no credible evidence that fluoride causes any major health problems. To the contrary the benefits of fluoride on oral health have been proven time and again. As acids wash over the tooth surface on a daily basis they rob this mineral rich layer of particles, which in time causes the enamel to become weakened and chalky. Fluoride applied in these areas can soak back in to the tooth structure and repair the damage of these acids. That is it’s main benefit.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element and is in the soil and quite often in bore water. It is in high concentrations in certain foods naturally but we do not have fluoridated water here in Queensland. In most cases children using the correct toothpaste for their age, with a good diet they may not require additional sources of fluoride. In cases where there is a high risk of tooth decay (after being assessed by the dentist) additional fluoride supplements may be discussed.
In our practice we recommend the use of “Tooth Mousse” a dentist only prescribed topical paste that offers more repair and preventive capacity than toothpaste alone. We will recommend this for your child if we think it is necessary.