After American Dental Association changed their guidelines a few years ago, parents seem to wonder whether fluoride toothpaste is good for their kids. ADA kept suggesting parents for many years to give their children fluoride after 2 years of age. However, the announcement made in February 2014 suggested the provision of fluoride to children as soon as they start getting their first teeth erupting. Now, one may wonder why ADA changed their mind after so many years.
Is fluoride bad for the kids’ teeth?
For those who do not know what fluoride can do for dental health, it is an active element which provides great support to the tooth structure by strengthening tooth enamel. In fact, fluoride can stop and even reverse the process of tooth decay in some cases.
We usually get fluoride from drinking water, but not all people want to drink that fluoridated water. So, they prefer drinking bottled water which is not fluoridated.
It is a general recommendation by ADA to brush children’s teeth and bring them to dental visits as soon as they turn 1. However, most of the parents remain uneducated in this regard.
ADA changed its recommendation for the fluoride use in children in 2014. After this recommendation, the ADA instructions are now compatible with those of American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, who have been suggesting the application of fluoride as soon as first primary tooth erupts.
This recommendation was issued with the hope to control the occurrence of tooth decay and cavities in young children. ADA also recommends parents to make their children spit out the toothpaste after two minutes of brushing. The reason is that long exposure of teeth to fluoride can lead to the development of another issue which is known as fluorosis. Fluorosis is the condition associated with change of color of tooth enamel due to its exposure to fluoride. Although it is quite difficult to make a child spit out the toothpaste, this action needs to be enforced.
What needs to be done?
You may wonder if fluoride is bad for your kid. First, you need to understand the fact that children need to have good dental health right from the start even though their first teeth are going to come out. However, there are several years they would need to live with those primary teeth. Therefore, you have to make sure that you are doing everything to avoid tooth decay and cavities even in those primary teeth.
As far as the use of fluoride is concerned, the key to make the fluoride use a success is to maintain a balance, i.e. you have to make sure that you are giving enough amount of fluoride to your kids to prevent tooth decay but this amount needs to be less than what can result in fluorosis and other issues.
For further guidance, you need to visit your dentist regularly. If possible, you can get appointment from pediatric dentist to deal with the issue.