Should I Give Fluoride to My Child?

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As parents, we always want what is best for our kids. Many of us might not give much thought about whether or not our toothpaste contains fluoride if we are buying for ourselves, but if our child is going to use it, parental sirens can start sounding.

Of course, individual parenting decisions are up to nobody else but the parents, and at North Texas Dental Associates, we respect that. We want to give you appropriate information so that you can make good choices for your kids and family.

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral. It strengthens tooth enamel, making teeth more resistant to cavities and other tooth decay. We absorb from what we eat and drink, and it can also be applied topically to teeth.

Some parents worry that their tap water may be fluoridated. Communities have been adding fluoride to drinking water for decades, and some fluoride is present in almost all water, regardless of its source. But does it do anything? Water fluoridation has been one of the great public health achievements of modern times, significantly reducing tooth decay in both children and adults. Before fluoridation, children had nearly three times as many cavities. When fluoride is added, it is only a handful of parts per million, but its impact is clear.

Others parents worry if fluoride toothpaste is safe for children, especially if they are young. Not all toothpaste contains fluoride, so check for an ADA Seal of Acceptance to be sure. In appropriate amounts, fluoride toothpaste is safe and effective, even for young children. On children under three, use no more than a smear the size of a grain of rice. For children aged 3 to 6, use no more than a pea-sized amount.

Your family’s oral health is important. Call 972.535.6647 today with your questions about fluoride, as well as for great dental care right here in Plano, Texas!