Is Fluoride Safe for Kids

Contradictory reports about fluoride have left mothers confused as to whether they should let their kids brush with fluoride or not. 

The answer however, is quite simple: the little fluoride goes a long way.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in varying concentrations in the soil and in several water sources.

When used for oral health care, fluoride is given in two forms: topical (toothpastes, mouth rinses, etc.) and systematic (fluoridation of the water supply, and supplements such as chewable tablets). The topical form is very effective in providing protection against cavities by repairing damaged tooth enamel. Fluoridated water and supplements provide protection by being absorbed into the tooth structure and saliva.

Negative effects of fluoride

Kids younger than 6 years old may frequently swallow fluoride toothpaste, have high levels of fluoride in their drinking water, or are given too much fluoride supplements can develop dental fluorosis, a condition characterized by mottled, white or brown appearance on the teeth. There is even concern that high doses of fluoride over many years can lead to the development of brittle bones.

Positive effects of fluoride

However, organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the Canadian Dental Association recommend fluoride for children. According to these organizations, too little fluoride or none at all may leave kids unprotected against tooth decay.

Giving kids the proper dose and monitoring fluoride use has been found to maintain good oral health. 

Oral health care

Oral health care can start early in your baby’s life, use a soft washcloth or warm water soaked gauze to gently clean baby’s gum tissue daily.

Brushing should start when your child has had his/her first tooth, and should be done twice a day.

Fluoride use for kids

For kids less than 2 years of age, consult with their dentist first before giving them fluoride tooth past.

Supervise your kid’s tooth brushing to promote and ensure spitting out of excess paste. Preferably, the parent should do the brushing for kids this young.

Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste for kids less than 6 years of age.

Source: MSN Health