According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental decay is the most preventable childhood disease. Because of increased sugar in the American diet, decay is extremely common. Everyday items such as ketchup, salad dressings, yogurt, and oatmeal allow sugar to play a more significant role in children’s diets to meet the American demand for sweetness. This makes both children and adults more susceptible to obesity and dental decay – two serious conditions that we can largely control through education and prevention.
Drinking Water Fluoridation
With the implementation of fluoride into drinking water beginning in 1945, decay has seen a significant decrease. Painful cavities, deep decay, and tooth loss due to decay have all decreased but still occur regularly. Water fluoridation is common but varies from community to community. Some levels do not meet the minimum parts per million to effectively fight decay.
Why Fluoride Works
For those patients who struggle with decay, fluoride treatments can provide extra protection. Decay occurs when acid-causing bacteria soften enamel. Fluoride strengthens the protective enamel covering your teeth, preventing the breach of decay into the softer dentin layers of teeth. Even when prevention is not completely possible, it often slows the process.
Your child’s tooth anatomy, family history, and dietary habits can all affect their susceptibility to decay. Teeth with deep grooves are often more prone to decay because they have areas that toothbrush bristles cannot reach. Decay often runs in families because decay-causing bacteria can transfer by sharing utensils, kissing, and other common occurrences in the home.
Fluoride Treatments in Our Dental Office
The days of using the sour-tasting fluoride gel and disposable trays to apply fluoride are over! For many patients, those two-minute treatments seemed like a lifetime. Though they were effective to a degree, today’s fluoride varnish is much more effective and pleasant.
We apply fluoride varnish to the surfaces of your child’s teeth. They can eat and drink normally but should avoid crunchy or chewy foods that can cause the varnish to become less effective.
Along with using fluoride toothpaste and eating a healthy diet, we can largely avoid serious issues of decay and serious situations requiring extractions.
Health Concerns over Fluoride Treatments
Many parents have concerns about the safety of fluoride both in drinking water and with in-office treatments. At Bitesize Pediatric Dentistry, we understand that parents in our community want the best health for their little ones. We are happy to discuss your concerns and respect your decision regarding your child’s health. We can provide you with any information you may need regarding the safety of fluoride so you can make an informed decision regarding your child’s health.
Call Our Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Dental Office
We work with parents as a team to create healthy, comfortable smiles. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Raf or Dr. Rupin. We look forward to meeting you and your child!