In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics when it comes to fluoride and how it benefits your child’s oral health. Helping to prevent cavities and tooth decay, fluoride is a vital consideration for all parents.
At Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, our preventive dental services for children include a wide variety of areas, such as fluoride use and how it should be administered. In today’s part two, we’ll dig into a few specific delivery methods for fluoride, plus which and what quantities you should be considering for your child.
Toothpaste Type and Quantity
Fluoride can be infused into many toothpaste formats, and this is a great delivery format in most cases. Generally speaking, toothpaste with fluoride in it and the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance on the bottle is the way to go.
Just like adults, young children’s teeth should be brushed twice a day for two minutes per brush. If possible, do this after breakfast and just before bedtime. For children too young to brush on their own, parents should dispense the toothpaste so they don’t accidentally swallow any. Only use a small smear of toothpaste for children under 2, and a pea-sized amount for children between ages 2 and 5.
In other cases, your pediatric dentist may recommend fluoride supplements for your child. There will be several factors they consider before doing this, including the child’s age, their risk of dental decay or cavities, and their other dietary sources of fluoride, including toothpaste.
One distinct area your child’s dentist will go over with you for infants and babies: The formula they’re being fed. Different formula types contain varying levels of fluoride in them, and how much your baby is receiving may dictate whether your dentist recommends additional fluoride supplements. There also may be tests done to determine the fluoride levels in your water and whether your child receives enough without supplements.
Another delivery method for fluoride is called topical fluoride, which is applied directly to tooth enamel. It’s generally found in gel or foam form, and often applied at dental offices using a tray that’s held in the teeth for several minutes at a time.
In other cases, topical fluoride will be in the form of a varnish, which will be brushed onto the enamel specifically. This format is often used for young patients who can’t sit still for several minutes straight with a tray in their mouth, or for special-needs patients with similar difficulties.
For more on fluoride and how it benefits your child, or to learn if your child is getting enough fluoride on a daily basis, speak to the staff at Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry today.