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How Can I Tell if My Child is Getting Enough Fluoride?

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In today's world of bottled water and designer water on virtually every shelf, not as many people drink tap water as they used to. While there are certainly benefits to drinking some bottled waters, you — and your children —may be missing out on fluoride, which is critical for preventing tooth decay and maintaining strong, healthy teeth. Fortunately, fluoride treatments for children are available to help boost fluoride levels and keep the teeth healthier for longer. If you're like many parents, you may be wondering how to know if your child needs fluoride treatments.

Generally speaking, children who use fluoride toothpaste and drink tap water or water containing fluoride are likely getting adequate fluoride amounts for their teeth, but it is still important to understand the signs or factors that may mean your child isn't getting enough fluoride — like weak bones and early or multiple cavities. Here, Lawrenceville, GA children's dentist Dr. Jeni Kong of Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry outlines some of the things you need to know about fluoride for kids, including how to know when a child needs fluoride treatment at the dentist.

Why do kids need fluoride?

Fluoride is essential for keeping teeth healthy, preventing cavities and tooth decay, strengthening enamel, and more. When children lack fluoride, they can develop significant dental and oral health issues that may require extensive treatments, including tooth extraction, which can affect their long-term dental health and development. Because fewer children today drink tap water than children in previous decades did, many kids can benefit from pediatric dental fluoride treatments to give their teeth a healthy boost.

What are the symptoms of not having enough fluoride in kids?

The primary signs, symptoms, and variables that may mean your child is not getting enough fluoride from their everyday diet and routines include:

  • They do not drink tap water, city/municipal water, or bottled water containing fluoride
  • They do not use a fluoride toothpaste
  • They have weakened bones, recurrent bone fractures, or broken bones
  • They develop early, severe, or multiple cavities and/or tooth decay

Does bottled water contain fluoride?

Many bottled waters do not contain fluoride. However, there are some bottled waters with fluoride, which can be identified by checking the label or reading the list of ingredients.

When should kids get fluoride treatments?

If your child does not regularly drink tap water, use fluoride toothpaste, or shows signs of fluoride deficiency in kids, they may need fluoride treatments from a pediatric dentist. At each of your child's annual dental exams and cleanings, Dr. Jeni and our team will thoroughly assess your child's teeth and evaluate for any signs of weakness, decay, cavities, or other issues that may point to the need for fluoride treatment. If indicated, Dr. Jeni may recommend a pediatric fluoride treatment — which involves a simple, virtually painless brushing of a specialized varnish on the teeth — and takes just minutes. Additionally, we may recommend oral fluoride tablets between in-office fluoride treatments to further strengthen the teeth and keep decay at bay.

Keep your child's teeth strong and healthy with pediatric dental fluoride treatments in Lawrenceville, GA

It can be difficult to know for sure whether your child is getting enough fluoride in their diet and from their toothpaste, but our team can help assess their teeth and make recommendations that will boost their dental health. If you are interested in learning more about dental fluoride for kids, call us at Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry to schedule your consultation and dental exam with Lawrenceville, GA pediatric dentist Dr. Jeni Kong today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.