The Importance of Fluoride for Your Child’s Dental Health

Little Boy Brushing TeethFluoride is an important mineral for dental health, especially for children, and it is found in the water supplies of nearly every major city in the US. However, many people do not understand the importance of this mineral. In this post, Ankeny, IA children’s dentist Dr. Erika Peddicord outlines the importance of fluoride for dental wellness and explains why you may want to consider fluoride treatments for your child.

What Is Fluoride?

The enamel on your teeth is constantly changing. Every day, bacteria, sugars, and acid cause demineralization, which weakens the enamel and leaves your teeth more susceptible to decay and damage. However, minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride – which are found naturally in food and water – help build the enamel back up.  In 1945, Grand Rapids Michigan was the first city in the world to boost the levels of fluoride in its municipal water supply. Since then, the majority of US cities have followed suit. Because water fluoridation has dramatically increased the dental health of millions of Americans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed this innovation as “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”

Why Fluoride Treatments?

Though water fluoridation is widespread, almost 30% of American city dwellers do not have access to fluorided water. In addition, a large number of those who depend on private water supplies are not receiving the recommended amount of fluoride. Even those who regularly drink fluorided water may benefit from a more concentrated level of the mineral. This is especially true for children between the ages of 6 and 16, when baby teeth and permanent teeth are developing. During this phase, fluoride will actually become incorporated into the biochemical makeup of your child’s teeth, making them much more resistant to cavities and decay.

Fluoride Treatments for Your Child

To determine whether fluoride treatments are right for your child, it is best to schedule a consultation with your family dentist. Dr. Peddicord will examine your child’s dental health, and may ask you about the fluoride levels in your water supply. If she determines that your child may benefit from fluoride treatments, there are several options to choose from, including mouthwashes, toothpastes, and gels. Dr. Peddicord may also apply fluoride directly to your child’s teeth using a dental sealant. No matter which type of treatment you and your dentist choose, your child will feel comfortable and at ease in our friendly, welcoming, and family-oriented office.

About Peddicord Family Dentistry: Dr. Erika Peddicord of Peddicord Family Dentistry received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. Her enthusiasm for building lasting relationships with her patients and her dedication to oral health set her apart as an outstanding family dentist. Patients can schedule an appointment with Dr. Peddicord by calling (515) 963-3339.