Is Fluoride Safe for Kids?
Fluoride is safe for children when given in the correct amount. Many organizations, including the American Dental Association and World Health Organization, endorse it. And fluoride has been a part of most public water systems for over 75 years.
In rare cases, too much of this mineral can lead to dental fluorosis. This condition could cause white spots on the enamel, but it is much less common than oral health problems due to not getting enough fluoride.
How Is Fluoride Applied?
Several forms of fluoride treatment for kids are available, like gel, varnish, or tablets. How fluoride is applied depends on which method is used. Tablets are taken orally. They are often prescribed to children who don’t have access to fluoridated water.
Varnish or gel fluoride is applied directly to each tooth after routine cleaning and allowed to soak in. In our Half Moon Bay family dental practice, we use fluoride varnish. Your child should not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after application to allow for the best absorption.
When Should My Child Get a Fluoride Treatment?
Unless your child is at extreme risk for developing tooth decay, we’ll likely recommend fluoride treatment twice per year. But we'll discuss your child's fluoride intake with you to determine how they would benefit from a professional treatment.