Posts for: November, 2017
As a provider of pediatric dentistry in Cohasset, we do what we can to prevent our young patients from getting cavities. Tooth decay is incredibly common in children. So much so, that tooth decay is a leading cause of children missing time from school. To make sure that decay does not cause our patients to suffer unnecessarily, we recommend that parents consider a fluorite treatment. In many cases, children experience fewer cavities because of fluoride's ability to strengthen teeth.
How does fluoride work?
As someone offering pediatric dentistry in Cohasset, we get this question a lot. Parents have heard of fluoride but there is a lot of conflicting information on it and people want to know if it is a good idea and why. To understand why fluoride is beneficial, it helps to understand the structure of teeth.
The outer layer of the teeth consists of enamel. Enamel is incredibly strong and serves to protect the teeth from the constant impact of daily usage. When a child bites down on a crunchy apple or into a carrot, it is the enamel that ensures the nerves inside of the teeth do not feel pressure. Essentially, the enamel is the outer shell or casing that is protecting the tooth.
Enamel is not invincible
However, enamel can break, sustain damage and can also wear away over time. This is especially true when children eat a lot of sugar, drink soda and have a poor oral hygiene routine. The thinner the enamel is, the easier it is for a child to develop tooth decay. The bacteria that gets on the teeth begins to secrete acid, attacking the teeth.
The acid essentially tries to eat away the enamel. If the enamel is weak because it wears down, there will be less enamel for the acid to work its way through and decay will occur much faster. Fluoride is beneficial at this point because it is a naturally occurring mineral that can strengthen the enamel. Naturally, the stronger the enamel is, the harder it will be for the acid to wear away the tooth and begin the process of decay.
This is why so many dentists recommend fluoride treatments on an annual basis. In fact, children who are prone to decay may need even more frequent fluoride treatments. The stronger the teeth become, the better for the child's long-term oral health and longevity of teeth.
How is fluoride placed?
The process is incredibly easy and will not cause the child any discomfort. We typically apply the fluoride to the teeth, wait about a minute and then it can begin to strengthen the enamel before we remove it. Fluoride has no real taste or smell and does not cause any irritation. Most children barely notice what is happening and it is very rare that a child ever complains. A fluoride treatment is truly that simple.
How often should a child get a fluoride treatment?
This really depends on the child and the health of their teeth. The most frequently a child should visit a pediatric dentistry office in Cohasset for fluoride is once a quarter. This is typically reserved for our extreme cases with children who have suffered significant dental decay. Most children only receive fluoride treatments once or twice a year in our office.
However, on a daily basis, we encourage parents to brush children's teeth with toothpaste containing fluoride since this can help to further strengthen them and augment the procedures we are doing in our clinic. To learn more about fluoride, preventative dental care and to have your child's teeth cleaned and examined, call our office and schedule an appointment for pediatric dentistry in Cohasset.