Fluoride is important for all teeth, but it is especially critical for children’s teeth, because children’s teeth are still developing.
Fluoride is naturally occurring in the earth and can be found in water and some foods. Our teeth benefit from consuming liquids and solids containing fluoride, but many other foods or beverages we eat or drink like candy, soft drinks or starches, harm our teeth. We come out ahead if we take in more fluoride than we lose each day, but given how difficult that would be to measure, it’s pretty clear it’s not worth the risk to your teeth to merely hope your fluoride intake is sufficient.
Fluoridated Drinking Water
Without adequate fluoride, our teeth would quickly succumb to bacteria and lose the battle to the acids in the foods we eat.
Here in South Carolina, fluoride is added to drinking water in more than 75 percent of communities. This helps strengthen teeth and fight decay, but it doesn’t do the whole job, especially if the bulk of your children’s drinking water comes from a well instead of a municipal line, or if they drink a lot of filtered or bottled water. Don’t skip fluoride treatments and rely on your city or town’s water supply or your toothpaste to do a dentist’s job.
Here at Oceanside Dental of Myrtle Beach, we always recommend regular fluoride treatments for our patients, at least until the age of 18. Such treatments protect growing teeth and retard decay and sometimes even reverse it. During our patients’ regular cleaning visits, we perform fluoride treatments, which consist of the hygienist putting a fluoridated varnish on your child’s teeth. Some parents may remember fluoride treatments from their youth, which meant submitting to having your teeth marinated in a vile-tasting substance for 30 minutes while your mouth was packed with cotton to keep your cheeks from interfering with the process. These were indeed the dark days of dentistry! This varnish tastes good and has a short time of application.
At Oceanside Dental, we have your children’s best interests at heart. We want their teeth to remain clean, healthy and strong, and that’s why we preach brushing and flossing carefully at least twice a day and limiting sugary foods. We take care of the rest.