Children’s teeth are very weak and are susceptible to breakage, decay, or infection. That is why your doctor might recommend fluoride varnish treatment when your child starts to develop teeth. Many parents are skeptical of this type of treatment and shy away from it.
To keep you at ease, here is a brief snippet of basic fluoride treatment in children.
What is fluoride and fluoride treatment?
Fluoride is a natural mineral used by dentists to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride adheres to the enamel layer of teeth preventing build-up of plaque and tartar.
Fluoride treatment is the physical application of a fluoride compound on teeth to strengthen the tooth enamel and prevent or slow down tooth decay. The fluoride varnish is then brushed off after 5 to 12 hours.
The treatment is mostly used on young children aged 6 months to 16 years when the permanent teeth are developing.
Is fluoride treatment safe for children?
Yes, it is. Only small quantities of fluoride are used when treating kids. The fluorine compound hardens very fast when applied on teeth, so chances of swallowing the compound are zero to none. However, even if swallowed, fluorine does not harm the human body when applied in small quantities. Fluorine is used in the treatment of drinking water and is allowed by many dental institutions.
Excess fluoride causes fluorosis, but chances of this happening under a trained dentist are minimal. Fluorosis is small white specks or streaks that are unnoticeable to the naked eye that turns dark brown when in excess.
Tooth decay is a common problem among children. Kids love sugary things, which ultimately are the cause of tooth decay. Fluoride treatment allows the kids to enjoy sweetness while keeping their teeth healthy. Early fluoride treatment is important for kids and should be followed throughout the child’s early years of growth.