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Should Kids Get Fluoride Treatment?

You care about your child’s oral health. You make sure they brush their teeth, floss, and eat healthy foods. But there’s something else you could be doing for your child’s teeth: fluoride treatments.


asian child smiling with teeth to show benefit of fluoride treatment for kids

What Are Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride treatments are simply a way to remineralize your child’s teeth. As they eat, sugars and bacteria can demineralize – or remove the minerals from – your child’s teeth. Along with that, cavities can form and they can lose calcium, fluoride, and phosphate.

It’s important to replace these minerals and one of the most efficient ways to do it is with this treatment.

Types of Fluoride Treatments

There are a few different ways to remineralize your child’s teeth with fluoride:

  • Fluoridated Tap Water – If your tap water has fluoride in it, you’re in luck! By simply using your fluoridated tap water in your child’s bottle and drinking water, you’re providing them with an easy treatment. Check with your local municipality to see if there’s fluoride in your tap water.
  • Fluoride Toothpaste – Another way to remineralize your child’s teeth is with fluoride toothpaste (make sure you choose one that’s been approved by the ADA). This is a good option for those children who are old enough to know to spit their toothpaste out rather than swallowing it.
  • Over-The-Counter Fluoride Mouthwash – By getting your child in the habit of swishing over-the-counter fluoride mouthwash, you can provide them with a low-level treatment. This is an option most appropriate for older children versus toddlers.
  • Prescription Fluoride Mouthwash – Your dentist may prescribe your child a prescription fluoride mouthwash. If so, make sure to follow the directions exactly. This method is typically reserved for children at high risk for dental disease.
  • Prescription Fluoride Liquid and Tablets – Another recommendation from your dentist might be prescription fluoride liquid and tablets. If you check with your municipality and find that your drinking water doesn’t have fluoride, you should ask your dentist about this option.
  • Fluoride Varnish Treatments – One of the best options is a fluoride varnish treatment. During this treatment, fluoride is painted on the top and sides of your child’s teeth. Fluoride hardens almost instantly, so this is a quick procedure done during any dental visit. After a fluoride varnish is applied, make sure your child doesn’t brush or floss their teeth for four to six hours. They can, however, eat and drink immediately following the procedure, though they should stick to soft foods that are cold or warm, but not hot.

Benefits of Fluoride Treatment

One of the primary benefits of fluoride treatments is that it helps your child’s teeth become more resistant to sugars and bacteria.

Additionally, this treatment can help prevent and slow down tooth decay. Children are notoriously bad at brushing their teeth. They may skip a day or miss spots. With a fluoride treatment, you can have more of an assurance that their teeth will stay in good health.

Contact one of our pediatric dental clinics today to set up your child’s appointment! We will assess their oral health and figure out which treatment is the best option for them!