According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is one of the most common health issues for American children today. Fluoride is an important part of tooth decay prevention, especially in young children. At Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry in The Woodlands and Spring, Texas, Scott A. Andersen, DDS, and Tab R. Imdacha, DDS, offer parents and children all the tools they need to develop healthy oral care habits, starting from the earliest years. Book an appointment online or by phone now.
Yes, the Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry team recommends fluoride toothpaste for children. But, if your child resists brushing their teeth because they dislike the taste of toothpaste, Dr. Andersen or Dr. Imdacha may recommend brushing with baking soda or simply with tap water if necessary.
Your child should brush three times a day, after every meal. Use a circular motion, rather than a side-to-side one, as the circles help your child get into all the crevices between their teeth. Remind your child to brush their gums and their tongue, as well as their teeth.
After brushing, children should floss at bedtime. Begin a daily flossing routine at around age 3 or 4, which is typically the time that the back teeth connect. Do the flossing for your child, explaining good technique as you go, until they’re around 5.
At age 5, your child can start trying to floss on their own, but with your supervision. By age 8, many kids are able to floss independently.
Dr. Andersen and Dr. Imdacha recommend topical fluoride gel-like Omni Gel™ or Gel-Kam® for many young patients. Omni Gel and Gel-Kam come in a variety of flavors to entice even reluctant children to use them.
Once your child’s finished with brushing and flossing, apply the Omni Gel or Gel-Kam to the clean toothbrush and gently apply it to all teeth. Have your child spit once, but don’t rinse. Your child leaves the fluoride gel on all night so it can strengthen their teeth as they sleep.
Fluoride tablets are also a great tool for young patients in certain areas. If your water isn’t fluoridated, or if it doesn’t have enough fluoride for adequate teeth protection, Dr. Andersen or Dr. Imdacha may prescribe fluoride tablets for your child.
If you’re not sure about your water supply fluoridation, ask your local water district. The target fluoride level is 0.7 ppm. If your child needs fluoride tablets, they likely only need them until about age 11.
Fluoride is your friend when it comes to your child’s oral health. Book an appointment at Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry through the online scheduler or by phone today.