Kid’s teeth need extra care and attention when it comes to dental care. For this, regular brushing is not enough, and they need a routine that makes this extra care of dental health more effective.
A good recommendation for this purpose is fluoride. However, there are some reservations about administering fluoride to kids. Read more to know at what age kids should have fluoride.
What is Fluoride?
It is a naturally occurring compound which is found in water resources. Fluoride is a popular resort for limiting demineralization of the teeth. It is well known for these properties.
When it is introduced in the system, fluoride gets incorporated into the structure of the newly developing teeth of the kids. And also, when fluoride comes in contact with the teeth, it helps to clear the surface of the biofilm.
Function of Fluoride
- Fluoride inhibits the rate of acid production of caries causing bacteria.
- It prevents the dissolution and the demineralization of the enamel and dentine of the teeth.
- In addition to this, fluoride also helps to repair any damage that caries causing bacteria may have done.
- It allows the teeth to remineralize themselves.
- It does not repair the cavities that may have occurred, but it does do a lot to slow down the progress of the cavity and curtails the spreading of dental caries.
The Controversy behind Fluoride
While the use of fluoride in water has been a safe method of incorporating fluoride intake, there has been a lot of concern about the other associated damage the fluoride could be doing to the body. However, it is interesting to note that these concerns have not been backed up by significant evidence.
On the other hand, there is overwhelming evidence that fluoride is very important for maintaining dental health and has been instrumental in slowing the rate of decay of teeth and to prevent the build-up of dental plaque. This position of fluoride being beneficial has been largely undisputed for a long time now. In fact, the organizations like the World Health Foundation (WHO) have practically endorsed fluoridation of water all over the world.
The Need for Fluoride for Kids
Kids up to the age of six do not require the use of fluoride. However, after this age, you may regularly consult your child’s dentist for starting the use of fluoride as and when your kid requires.
If your area does not provide fluoride water, you may get some fluoride supplements prescribed by the concerned dentist. Other than that, use of fluoride toothpaste should be adequate for the kid.
Babies’ teeth should be brushed with a babies’ toothbrush with preferably no toothpaste, since they may swallow it. Kids aged 3 years and beyond should use a pea-sized quantity of toothpaste.
However, up to the age of 6, fluoride containing mouthwashes are not recommended for kids, as the risk of them swallowing it is high.
Apart from these basic guidelines, keep in regular consultation with your kid’s dentist. This way you will be able to address the dental concerns of your kid in a much better way.