Flouride is a compound that contains fluorine, a natural element. Research shows that using small amounts of fluoride routinely can help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens areas that are weakened and beginning to develop cavities. It also discourages acid attacks that break down the tooth. Fluoride combined with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene significantly reduces a child's risk for decay. Fluoride use for the prevention and control of tooth decay is proven to be safe and effective; however, guidelines must be followed to prevent Fluorosis. Fluorosis is a condition that presents enamel defects ranging from tiny white specks or streaks to a pitted brown discoloration depending on severity. It can affect all teeth that were forming at the time the excessive amount of fluoride was ingested. South Georgia Pediatric Dentistry considers many factors prior to recommending a fluoride supplement including patient's age, risk of decay and dietary sources of fluoride. Fluoride can be contained in many products your child may come in contact with on a daily basis such as bottled, filtered, and well water, infant formulas, and even food packaged in water. SGPD may recommend having their patients water tested for fluoride levels before a supplement is prescribed. Risk factors include a history of previous cavities, a diet high in sugar or carbohydrates, orthodontic appliances, and certain medical conditions that can cause dry mouth.
When shopping for fluoridated toothpaste, parents should look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)recommends brushing twice daily (after breakfast and before bedtime) to reduce risk of decay. Children ages 2-5 should use only one a smear of fluoridated toothpaste while children over the age of 5 can use a pea sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Parents should dispense toothpaste to prevent their child from swallowing too much.
Topical fluoride is a preventative agent applied to tooth enamel. It is the practice of South Georgia Pediatric Dentistry to use fluoride varnish after each cleaning (once every 6 months). The American Dental Association recognizes fluoride varnish as effective in preventing cavities in children and adolescents. Varnish is especially useful for young children and those with special needs who may not tolerate fluoride trays. Fluoride varnish is brushed or "painted" directly onto tooth enamel. Two or more applications of fluoride varnish per year are effective in preventing cavities in high risk populations. Also, according to AAPD guidelines, fluoride must be applied after a rubber cup cleaning on primary teeth.
After the application of fluoride varnish, our child may feel a thin coating on their teeth. This is a temporary condition and should be left undisturbed in order to provide the greatest results. In order to receive the maximum benefit to your child's treatment the manufacturer recommends the following guidelines:
1) Varnish should remain on your teeth a minimum of 6 hours preferably overnight.
2) Maintain a soft diet and avoid hot liquids and mouthwashes containing alcohol during the treatment period.
3) Do not brush or floss during the treatment period. Wait until the next day to resume normal oral hygiene.
4) If patient is taking supplemental prescription fluoride, do not take for at least 3 to 4 days, unless otherwise instructed by a dentist.
The day after treatment, a thorough brushing will remove any varnish remaining on your child's teeth.
The fluoride varnish used by South Georgia Pediatric Dentistry contains no Saccharin or Aspartame. It contains only natural sweeteners, Xylitol, and is Gluten free. Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute that has demonstrated a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay along with arrest and even some reversal of existing dental cavities. This Xylitol effect is long lasting and possibly even permanent. Low decay rates persist even years after trials have been completed.