It is common knowledge that fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, particularly among children. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now says that toddlers as young as three years old can benefit from using small amounts of fluoride whenever they brush their teeth. Unfortunately, not everyone in the U.S. has access to this mineral, as noted in James Maynard’s article for Tech Times:
“Community water fluoridation, which prevents tooth decay through the provision of low levels of fluoride exposure to the teeth over time, provides topical and systemic exposure… Yet more than 70 million Americans on public water systems have no access to fluoridated water,” AAP researchers wrote in the report.
This may sound familiar to many residents of South Carolina, where water fluoridation is not mandatory. Only city governments have the authority to implement or discontinue the practice, and even then, fluoridation policies can vary from one place to another. In fact, the most recent statistics say that only 93.8 percent of South Carolinians are supplied with fluoridated water—a slight reduction compared to 94.6 percent in 2006.
Fortunately, family dentistry in Greenville, SC can fill in this gap by means of fluoride treatments that help ensure strong and healthy teeth among kids. Although fluoride toothpastes are cheaper and more accessible, their minimal fluoride content is guaranteed to fade away after a short time. By contrast, a professional fluoride treatment introduces the chemical directly into the enamel or the outer layer of teeth, thereby providing an immediate, yet longer-lasting effect. Various studies say that kids who undergo regular fluoride treatments generally have 40 percent fewer cavities than other children.
It is also a great idea to bring kids to the dentist for fluoridation because it is far less risky than brushing with fluoride toothpastes. Children, particularly toddlers, are prone to swallowing small amounts of toothpaste whenever they brush and are consequently at risk of fluorosis. This condition is characterized by permanent white or brown blotches on the teeth, sometimes with rough, pitted edges on the enamel.
While children and adults alike need fluoride to keep their teeth healthy, this mineral requires careful handling to avoid lasting complications. Count on a trusted Greenville, SC family dental practice such as Falls Park Dentistry to provide quality dental solutions that help maintain and restore beautiful smiles.
(Source: Fluoride toothpaste should be used by kids with first teeth: Pediatricians, Tech Times, August 26, 2014)