It's undeniable that fluoride has played a major role in the decline of dental cavities in the United States. However, what isn't so clear to many parents is whether or not fluoride treatments are safe and/or beneficial for children.
After all, children receive fluoride on a regular basis from many different types of foods and even water. Through these sources alone, minerals lost due to plaque, bacteria, and sugars are remineralized on teeth.
So, is an additional fluoride treatment at the dentist necessary and if so, at what age are the treatments most beneficial? Read on to find out.
While it's true that fluoride found in foods and water can replace lost minerals, it sometimes isn't enough to strengthen teeth and protect against cavities. In fact, if you don't consume enough natural fluoride, demineralization will occur much more quickly than remineralization, leaving enamel at risk and causing tooth decay.
Fluoride treatments speed up the natural remineralization process, providing prolonged protection against demineralization and related tooth decay. They are particularly effective in children because they can reverse early decay while protecting permanent teeth as they develop.
Children should start fluoride treatments at around 6 months of age and continue at least until they turn 16 (and ideally, beyond this age as well). Treatments vary based on age and also on whether they are done at home or at the dentist's office:
The most common concern about fluoride treatments is that large amounts can be toxic to the brain, bones, kidney, and thyroid. However, products intended for home use have extremely low levels of fluoride, meaning that you generally don't have to worry.
Still, there are precautions you can take to ensure you're not only keeping potentially dangerous products away from children, but also using fluoride properly:
Although some parents view fluoride skeptically, professional treatments are integral to your child's smile starting at 2 years of age.
By doing your part at home and scheduling regular appointments, you can help prevent cavities and give children the strong teeth they need both now and in the future.
Dr. Rehder and the entire staff are friendly and compassionate. They accommodate my needs as a patient and treat me as a personal friend. Professionally, they provide the utmost care and advice, the patient always comes first. I can’t say enough positive comments about this practice.
~Review by Eileen S.
Dr. Rehder is very professional, yet not too serious as he is doing your teeth. He makes it relaxing and is able to keep your mind away from his work (I have never liked going to the dentist, but Dr. Rehder makes the experience as close to pleasant as a dentist visit can be).
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Thank you Dr. Rehder and Christine for the "always exciting" and "never a dull moment" orthodontist appointment. See you in two weeks to do it all over again. Ok maybe-not ALL over again.
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I had a great experience with Dr. Rehder. He is very informative and professional. All of the staff were so nice and helpful. My overall experience was one of the best I had with a dental office. I would definitely recommend people to come here.
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Professional staff. Makes you feel at ease, would highly recommend.
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Always wonderful visits at Pinefield Dental. I've been a patient since the very early 90s. The staff is my extended family & takes care of my teeth with the utmost professionalism. This is my dental home.
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The doctor and staff were wonderful. My experience is always great. The staff is very caring and always professional. The hours are very convenient as well. They will be able to accommodate anyone's schedule.
~Review by Amanda C.
Richard F. Gittleson, DDS Reviews No one likes/enjoys going to the dentist, but our dentist (Dr. Gittleson) and his staff are so pleasant they help relieve a patient fears.
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Highly recommended, I’ve been a patient since 1983.
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