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10 Sep

Fluoride for Kids: Is It Safe?

By sticking to some simple guidelines and portions, fluoride is safe and recommended for babies and young children. There are many great benefits of fluoride, the foremost being that it can strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay, making it a great way to prevent cavities in kids. However, it’s important to understand how to introduce kids to fluoride properly, so that you can start their teeth and oral health on the right path.

How to Introduce Fluoride to Children

When teeth are still beginning to emerge, fluoride develops the enamel so that it becomes as hard as it needs to be to resist cavities and decay. The Indian Dental Association recommends that it is important to clean your baby’s mouth in the first few days after birth. You can do that by wiping the gums using a clean washcloth or moist gauze pad. Once their teeth come in, follow these guidelines:

– Toothpaste with fluoride: For children younger than three years, parents and caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they come into the mouth. For children 3 to 6 years old a pea-sized amount can be used.

– Mouthwash with fluoride: Add this extra cavity-fighting power into their routine, best for use after age six.

– Fluoride supplements: Taken as tablets or drops, they are prescribed by a doctor and a great alternative for kids living in areas without sufficient levels of water fluoridation.

– Topical fluoride applications: Gels or varnishes are routine procedures for most children during their dental check-up appointments. Varnishes are easier to apply to the teeth of younger children, allowing treatments to begin at an early age.

To prevent a condition called Fluorosis have your child spit out the toothpaste as soon as they are able to do so. Accidentally ingesting too much fluoride while the teeth are still developing can cause non-serious discolouration or pitting of the enamel. Learn more about pediatric guidelines for toothpaste.

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*This is an abridged version of an article from Colgate