There has been some confusion lately about the safety of fluoride. Three years ago, the American Dental Association (ADA) began recommending that parents use a smear of fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth erupt. Up until that point they had been advising parents to wait until children were at least two years of age. This has left many parents wondering whether or not fluoride is safe for toddlers.
Fluoride makes teeth stronger and can effectively prevent and reverse the early signs of tooth decay. Although fluoride is commonly found in tap water, many parents choose bottled water instead. This makes fluoride toothpaste necessary.
Cavities in Preschool Aged Children
The ADA changed their recommendation about fluoride in 2014, after research showed a significant increase in the amount of preschool aged children with cavities. The ADA hopes that introducing fluoride at a younger age will help reduce the number of cavities seen in young children. Parents are advised to begin caring for their toddler’s teeth at one year of age. This includes using fluoride toothpaste and visiting a pediatric dentist.
Cavities are extremely common and can be painful for young children. This pain is often mistaken for teething. It’s important to have your child seen by a dentist right away if they begin complaining of mouth pain.
Teaching Good Habits
Young children should be taught to spit out toothpaste after brushing. While swallowing toothpaste every now and then is fine, swallowing too much fluoride can cause health problems and tooth enamel to change color. Teaching proper habits while children are young can lead to a lifetime of good oral health.
Deciding When to Begin Using Fluoride
When deciding if your child is ready to begin using fluoride toothpaste you should consider factors such as diet and whether or not your drinking water contains fluoride. Your child might benefit from extra fluoride if their diet includes sugary foods and beverages.
Gainesville Pediatric Dentist
We are a specialized pediatric dental office within the Gainesville Dental Associates Practice, the oldest and most respected practice serving patients in Gainesville, VA, Warrenton, VA, Haymarket, VA and the surrounding areas. Our Pediatric dentists and exceptional staff are committed to providing quality care and service to children of all ages.
Smilez Pediatric Dental Group can help you determine when your child should begin using fluoride toothpaste. We are committed to providing quality to care to children of all ages. Please contact us to set up a dental appointment.