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Why Fluoride Treatments are Good for Young Kids

Young boy smiling after fluoride treatment

Fluoride treatments are likely a regular part of your dental hygiene routine, but what about your child’s? Fluoride, due to its controversy, is often skipped for young children, but it’s actually an important part of your child’s dental hygiene.

Why Is It Important?

Tooth decay is not for adults only. In fact, take a look at these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Over 25% of children age 2-5 have one or more cavities
  • 50% of children age 12-15 have one or more cavities
  • 2/3 of 16-19 year-olds have some degree of tooth decay

That’s right – even your toddler is at risk for cavities! That’s why it’s so important for your kiddos to get fluoride treatments at their dental appointments.

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is often found in drinking water and toothpaste. While the treatments done at your dentist contain a higher amount of fluoride, it’s still a safe dosage.

Fluoride improves dental health by helping to slow, stop and prevent tooth decay. It’s great especially for young children who may not yet have the best dental hygiene habits. It also strengthens enamel and acts as a shield against harsh, eroding acid and bacteria.

How Is It Applied?

Many parents worry about the actual application: How will I get them to sit still? Will they swallow it?

Thankfully, there’s a great option for young kids that addresses some of these concerns. While you’ll still have to wrangle your kiddo and get them to open up, fluoride varnish makes the rest easy.

Fluoride varnish, done 2-4 times per year, is painted onto your child’s teeth. It’s sticky at first, but hardens once it comes into contact with saliva. It’ll stay on for 4-12 hours, and then you’ll brush it off. It may discolor teeth temporarily, but they’ll go back to normal once you brush their teeth.

Fluoride treatments are so important for your little one’s dental health. Especially when it’s hard to get in all of those tiny nooks and crannies, fluoride can mean the difference between getting cavities and not.