The safety of fluoride, especially among children, is a topic of considerable controversy.
However, the efficiency of using fluoride for building strong and healthy teeth has been well established. So is fluoride good or is it bad for your children?
Is Fluoride Safe for Children?
The answer is yes. Fluoride is safe for children. The American Dental Association (ADA), American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agree that drinking fluoridated water is a safe and effective way of preventing tooth decay. Without the protection that fluoride offers to teeth, acids that are produced by the bacteria that metabolize carbohydrates in the mouth will erode the enamel and damage your child’s teeth. If unchecked, the bacteria will penetrate the surface of the teeth, attack the dentin, and destroy the soft pulp tissue. This condition can result in pain in the tooth, loss of the dental structure and can cause progressive and acute systemic infection.
Are There Risks To Using Fluoride?
There are no risks in using fluoride. Fluoride is a safe and natural way of strengthening the teeth. But, ingesting too much fluoride may result in mild tooth fluorosis in children below 8 years. Fluorosis is a cosmetic condition that leads to browning of teeth but has no negative health effects. You can eliminate the risk of fluorosis by ensuring that your baby uses the right amount of toothpaste and that he/she never ingests it. The AAP and the ADA recommend a rice grain sized amount of toothpaste for children below 3 years and a pea sized amount for children above 3 years.
When Should My Child First Go To The Dentist?
Like adults, children are at risk of getting cavities. You should schedule your first visit to a dentist before the child’s first birthday or as soon as your child’s teeth start to grow. During the visit, your dentist will clean your child's teeth and give some preventive dental care tips to help you achieve optimal oral health for your child.
If you have any concerns about the safety of fluoride or have any general questions or concerns about your child's teeth, do not hesitate to contact us!