Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that has been shown to help strengthen teeth in children and also prevent decay in people of all ages. Topical fluoride, in particular is helpful for promoting oral health. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has publicly endorsed the use of fluoride for the prevention of dental caries, as has the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.
Cavities form when there is a weakening in the mineral composition of the enamel of your teeth. Fluoride promotes the remineralization of these decalcified spots, therefore helping to prevent cavities. Fluoride is present in some municipal water supplies although levels are uncertain and often too miniscule to make a positive impact. Fluoride can also be found in many household products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and even some bottled water.
Depending on your child’s oral health, the doctor may recommend a fluoride treatment every 3, 6, or 12 months. Along with monitoring the development of your child’s teeth, fluoride supplementation may be prescribed.