When Should I Start Using Fluoride Toothpaste for My Child?
Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter. Why? This naturally-occurring substance strengthens tooth enamel (the harder, outer shell of your teeth) and makes teeth more resistant to decay. It appears in varying amounts in water sources, including rivers, lakes, and oceans. Fluoride is even added to the tap water in many countries, including the U.S., to help protect teeth. To further protect your teeth and prevent dental cavities, fluoride toothpaste is recommended as one of the best, safest tools.
So, why is there a misconception about fluoride toothpaste being the wrong choice for children?
Some research has made dubious claims about fluoride being risky for children. And yet, multiple studies have shown the link between children living in areas having lower rates of cavities where fluoride is added to water. In addition, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend fluoride toothpaste use for children as soon as their first tooth erupts.
While some parents worry about the risk of their child accidentally swallowing toothpaste, using the proper amount of toothpaste eliminates this concern. For children under 3 years of age, only use a tiny smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice, and for children over 3 years old, a pea-sized amount is perfect. Children over the age of 3 must be taught to spit out the excess toothpaste and rinse their mouths. Make sure your child uses an age-appropriate toothbrush size and supervise your child’s oral hygiene until s/he is at least 5 years old. Always make sure your children brush their teeth thoroughly, for 2 minutes, 2 times per day.
Dental cavities are the most common disease affecting both children and adults worldwide. Cavities cause tooth decay and can necessitate extensive dental work to treat. To protect your children’s smile, remember to use fluoride toothpaste and instill good oral hygiene habits. Regular dental checkups every 6 months are also recommended to ensure your child’s mouth is healthy.
Need a Pediatric Dentist in Santa Clarita? Contact Adventure Dental Today!
One of the best gifts you can give your child is a healthy smile. We encourage parents to use fluoride toothpaste, practice good oral hygiene habits, and to keep regular appointments with your child’s pediatric dentist.
Need a pediatric dentist in Santa Clarita? Make an appointment today by contacting us online, or call (661) 251-0200 to learn more about us.