The Benefits of Fluoride in Children
Fluoride is an amazing element. In the 1940s, most cities in the U.S. began to fluoridate their public water supplies. In the year 2000, a study was completed that the fluoridation of drinking water has helped reduce the instance of decayed teeth in children on average of 2.25 teeth per child. However, fluoridated water is only effective when it is in the mouth after teeth have erupted, therefore it must be supplemented with other fluoridated products throughout the years.
Fluoride in toothpaste and mouth rinses
Fluoride can also be found in our public water, toothpaste, mouth rinses, and specialty foams and gels. The fluoride in these items is usually in the form of sodium fluoride. Sodium fluoride is essential in repairing some tooth enamel when decay occurs. Tooth enamel is very susceptible to decay and demineralization from the bacteria present in plaque. The bacteria in plaque feed off of the sugars in the foods that we eat. Daily use of a fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse is the best way to combat tooth decay.
Drinking water with fluoride will benefit children
Unfortunately, children’s baby teeth are susceptible to decay once have erupted. Fluoride will remineralize tooth enamel once decay has started and also help strengthen their tooth enamel. By simply drinking fluoridated water, children will gain protection for their teeth. It is important to remember that, in this day and age, most people rely on bottled water that does not contain fluoride. If children drink bottled water, we recommend making sure that it contains a source of fluoride to help strengthen their teeth in this important developmental stage. Once children are around the age of 3 or are able to fully spit out the remaining toothpaste after brushing their teeth, begin using fluoridated toothpaste.