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Is Fluoride Safe for Young Children?

May 9, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — ddfamilyteam @ 7:20 pm
Child brushing her teeth

You want to set your child’s smile up for success! You’ve heard about all of the benefits that fluoride can have on oral health, but may still have some concerns about whether or not it is safe to expose your child to fluoride at a young age. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Continue reading to learn more about the effects of fluoride and which age is best to begin using it.

How Does Fluoride Work?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in soil, plants, rocks, the ocean, and foods. It is most commonly used today to promote people’s oral health. In fact, it is supplemented in many public water supplies to boost the oral health of the population. Consuming this mineral regularly helps to strengthen tooth enamel and promote bone formation. That’s why it is a key ingredient in many dental products, including toothpaste and mouthwash.

Is Fluoride Safe for Children?

While fluoride has its benefits for the teeth, many people worry about the effect of fluoride on children due to claims made in the media. One of the last claims is that fluoride can decay a child’s brain development. Fortunately, there is no evidence to back up this statement, so there is no reason to believe that fluoride can negatively affect your child’s brain. In fact, in a 2022 study from the Journal of Dental Research, scholars found that fluoridated water didn’t reduce child’s behavioral development or executive functioning after assessing 2,682 children throughout their adolescence. Ultimately, fluoride is not something that you need to be concerned about.

How Much Fluoride Toothpaste Should My Child Use?

The amount of fluoridated toothpaste your child should use depends on their age. For babies, use a soft cloth to wipe their gums clean. When their teeth first start erupting, begin brushing them with a soft-bristled, child-sized toothbrush and a tiny smear of toothpaste. This should be no bigger than the size of a grain of rice. Once your child can reliably spit out their toothpaste instead of swallowing it, usually around the age of 3, you can upgrade to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Just be sure that your child spits it out. It’s best to assist your child with brushing until they are around five or six years old.

Fluoride is a helpful tool for you and your child’s oral health! By following the instructions of their dentist and using the directed amount of fluoridated products, you have nothing to worry about.

About the Author

Dr. Durga Devarakonda is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for over a decade! She earned her Doctor of Dental medicine from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Currently, she is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, Massachusetts Dental Society and the North Texas Dental Society. To learn more about fluoride or to schedule an appointment for your child at her office in Carrollton, visit her website or call (972) 236-7906.

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