Dental health through cavity prevention in children is one of the forefront strategies of Kids Dental.
Fluoride is one tool in the battle against dental disease. Cavities should not be considered a fact of life. Research has shown that fluoride reduces cavities between 40 to 50 percent in baby teeth and 50 to 60 percent in adult teeth.
There are numerous benefits of fluoride. When added to community water supplies it is the single most effective public health measure we have to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health for a lifetime.
All water contains some fluoride naturally, in amounts greater or lesser than that needed to contribute to oral health benefits. Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the natural level of fluoride to the concentration necessary for protection against tooth decay. Another way to receive fluoride is by using dental and home care products such as varnishes, gels, toothpastes and mouth rinses. Both systemic fluoride (fluoride that comes from eating foods and drinking liquids) and topical fluoride (fluoride that is applied to the surfaces of the teeth) work together to keep teeth strong.
At Kids Dental the implementation of fluoride varnishes for higher risk patients at intervals in-between regular dental visits represents a tremendous advancement in prevention. Fluoride varnishes present several important clinical and practical features compared to standard gels:
- This innovative treatment has been shown in early research to reduce cavities by more than fifty percent
- Varnishes are quick and easy to apply;
- Varnishes do not have the bitter taste of gels and can be readily applied in more difficult cases, such as with young children or the handicapped;
- The amount of fluoride ingested is small. Typically, plasma levels of fluoride barely change after varnish application, but can increase significantly after gel application.
Water fluoridation is safe. Since the 1930’s literally hundreds of carefully conducted scientific studies have shown that water fluoridation, at concentrations recommended for good oral health, has no harmful effects.
Parents should monitor their children’s tooth brushing habits. Kids Dental encourages parents to take an active role in their children’s oral health and one way to do so is to supervise their brushing habits. Children should be told to use only a small amount of toothpaste and not to swallow toothpastes and mouth rinses.
Excessive levels of dietary fluoride result in an increased risk of dental fluorosis that can be an esthetic problem. Dental fluorosis is a hypoplasia or hypomineralization of the dental enamel caused by the consumption of excessive amounts of fluoride during the years of tooth calcification. Only a small percentage of children experience this condition. Dental fluorosis is generally a mild condition unnoticeable to most people. It is characterized by lacy white lines or specks in the teeth and is not harmful to the patient’s health. What’s important to remember is that drinking optimally fluoridated water will not cause dental fluorosis in children.
Parents need to establish the fluoride content of their children’s primary drinking water source.
- Your Home Tap Water: Get your water tested. In Winnipeg the communal water is fluoridated at 1 part per million.
- The School Drinking Supply: One third of a child’s days are spent at school.
- Bottled Water: Only four percent of bottled water has had fluoride added to it. Parents can check with manufacturers or the International Bottled Water Association to determine the fluoride content.
- Water Filters: Some home water filters remove fluoride. Devices that operate by reverse osmosis can remove up to 95% of the fluoride from water, charcoal or carbon based systems usually remove less fluoride.
- Toothpaste: Children at the younger ages are very susceptible to swallowing toothpaste. Therefore parents should supervise their preschooler’s tooth brushing. Use a small amount of toothpaste and discourage your child from swallowing toothpaste.