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Topical Fluoride Treatment for Kids

By Dr. Aastha Chandra

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TOPICAL FLUORIDE TREATMENT IN CHILDREN

Benefits Of Fluoride:

Healthy gums and teeth are important for your child’s overall health. The earlier children are exposed to fluoride, the less likely they are to develop cavities. It is recommended that all infants receive an oral health assessment by 6 months of age. Infants at higher risk of early dental caries should be referred to a dentist as early as 6 months of age and no later than 6 months after the first tooth erupts or 12 months of age (whichever comes first).

In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth, thus making them less prone to tooth decay. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay

Application Of Fluoride:

  • If your child is under 3 years old, they should brush their teeth under close supervision. Apply only a thin layer of fluoride toothpaste to their toothbrush. The toothpaste should cover less than half of the bristles or be no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • If your child is 3 to 6 years old , pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Make sure the child spits of the toothpaste once done with brushing.
  • If your child is at high risk for tooth decay, Fluoride supplements in the form of fluoride varnish treatments are recommended.

What is Fluoride Varnish Treatment?

This is a safe dental treatment used by dentists worldwide for children of ages 6 months to 16 years to help prevent, slow down and a remedy for tooth decay. This treatment is provided professionally in the form of a highly concentrated rinse, foam, gel, or varnish where only a small quantity is used and care is taken to avoid any swallowing. The fluoride supplement may be applied with a swab, brush, tray, or mouthwash and can be done 2 to 4 times per year depending on how likely it is that your child may get cavities. It is quickly applied on the top and sides of each tooth with a small brush and it gradually hardens when it comes in contact with saliva. Then it is brushed off after 4 to 12 hours. The child may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after the treatment so the fluoride can fully absorb and soft and cold or warm (not hot) foods are recommended.

To sum it up, fluoride varnish treatment is a popular “anti-cavity” treatment which is recommended for all age groups and which should definitely be considered by anyone who is prone to dental decay.

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