Little boy with big smile

Fluoride Treatments in Hurst,TX

Fluoride Treatments for Kids in Hurst, TX

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is the ionic form of the element fluorine. Fluoride can be found all around us – it is naturally present in the soil, water and air. Importantly, fluoride has been shown to strengthen teeth and reduce the risk of cavities in children.

Sources of Fluoride

Children’s teeth can be exposed to fluoride through both systemic and topical sources.

Systemic fluorides are ones that are swallowed; they consist primarily of foods and beverages. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides data on the amount of fluoride present in various foods and drinks.

Topical fluorides are those that are applied directly to the teeth. Self-applied topical fluorides include fluoride toothpastes, rinses and gels. Professionally applied topical fluorides include higher-strength fluoride rinses and gels, fluoride varnishes, and silver diamine fluoride. Unlike other types of fluoride treatments, silver diamine fluoride is used primarily to stop existing tooth decay, rather than to prevent future cavities in kids. It is not discussed further here, but you can learn more by reading our post on silver diamine fluoride.

How Does Fluoride Help Prevent Cavities in Kids’ Teeth?

Inside all of our mouths, there are certain harmful bacteria that consume sugars and then produce acid. When our teeth are exposed to a highly acidic environment, they lose minerals in a process called demineralization. Often, our bodies can help our teeth regain lost minerals in a process called remineralization. However, when teeth are exposed to frequent “acid attacks,” they lose minerals faster than they can regain them, leading to permanent damage in the form of cavities.

Fluoride helps prevent cavities in children both by preventing demineralization and by enhancing the remineralization process. Fluoride accumulates in dental plaque and saliva. When harmful bacteria produce acid, fluoride is released from dental plaque. This released fluoride and the fluoride present in our saliva then get used, along with other minerals, to rebuild the hard outer layer on children’s teeth (enamel). The re-mineralized enamel, which contains more fluoride, is now more resistant to acid and therefore more resistant to tooth decay.

Is Fluoride Safe for My Child’s Teeth?

Like many other minerals (such as iron and zinc), fluoride is very beneficial at low doses but can produce negative health effects when consumed in overly high amounts. According to the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association, fluoride is both safe and beneficial for children when used appropriately.

When ingested, fluoride does carry a risk of fluorosis. Fluorosis is an enamel defect that, depending on the severity, can range from barely noticeable white spots on a child’s teeth to stained pits on the teeth. This defect occurs when excessive quantities of fluoride are ingested while a child’s teeth are still developing.

Although fluoride varnish contains a higher concentration of fluoride than fluoridated water or over-the-counter toothpaste, its use carries a significantly lower risk of fluorosis. According to the CDC, due to their propensity for swallowing toothpaste, children under six are at an increased risk of fluorosis when they brush their teeth using too much fluoride toothpaste. In contrast, no published studies indicate that professionally applied fluoride varnish is a risk factor for fluorosis. As the CDC explains, “proper application technique reduces the possibility that a patient will swallow varnish during its application and limits the total amount of fluoride swallowed as the varnish wears off the teeth over several hours.”

To help prevent toothpaste-related fluorosis, parents should closely monitor their children’s use of fluoride toothpaste and ensure they use no more than the recommended amounts. (See our tips on how to brush baby teeth for guidelines on how much toothpaste to use when brushing kids’ teeth.)

Are Professional Fluoride Treatments Necessary for Children?

Even if your child drinks fluoridated water and brushes with fluoride toothpaste, your child may still benefit from professional fluoride varnish treatments. In fact, professionally applied fluoride varnish is meant to complement other fluoride treatments, rather than to serve as a substitute.

Fluoride varnish contains higher levels of fluoride than fluoridated water or toothpaste to better protect your child’s teeth. This complementary source of fluoride is especially beneficial for children with an elevated risk of cavities. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association both recommend professional fluoride treatments for all children with an elevated risk of cavities.

However, the American Dental Association has determined that even children at low risk of developing cavities may receive additional benefit from the application of fluoride varnish beyond the benefit provided by daily use of fluoride toothpaste and consumption of fluoridated water.

How Often Does My Child Need Fluoride Varnish?

According to the American Dental Association, fluoride varnishes should be applied at least twice a year in order to provide a sustained benefit. For children at high risk of tooth decay, more frequent applications may be recommended. Fortunately, the procedure is quick and simple – your child’s pediatric dentist will simply paint the varnish onto your child’s teeth, and the varnish will set once it comes into contact with saliva.

Book an Appointment for Fluoride Varnish for Your Child

If you are interested in learning more about fluoride treatments for children, call us at (817) 510-6400 or request an appointment with Dr. Lin online. At Hurst Pediatric Dentistry, we can work with you and your child to determine how often your child should receive professional fluoride treatments, taking into account factors such as your child’s oral health status, risk of cavities and overall exposure to systemic and topical fluorides.

Dr. Lin is a board-certified pediatric dentist and the owner of Hurst Pediatric Dentistry. He provides preventative dental services to children from Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Ft. Worth, Colleyville, Keller, North Richland Hills and the surrounding area.

This article is intended to provide general information about oral health topics. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any disease or as a substitute for the advice of a healthcare professional who is fully aware of and familiar with the specifics of your case. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

Aaron AstonAaron Aston
22:02 09 May 24
Love this dentist for kids! They are very calm and patient with little ones, and take the time to discuss with parents any concerns or suggestions.
Friendly staff. Dr Lin is awesome and great with my kiddo! Highly recommend !
Lindsey ManleyLindsey Manley
01:16 07 May 24
Dr.Lin and his staff are so quick and effective with my toddlers dentist appointment. Makes everyone feel comfortable, and never scary. The office is very kid friendly and I am glad we found them!!
19:37 06 May 24
Excellent team! Our kids were always taken care of! Dr. Jin is the best!
Emily ProctorEmily Proctor
15:56 06 May 24
The best dentist we have ever been to! My son is actually excited to come here. Highly recommend to anyone with nervous children. Doc goes above and beyond to make everyone feel comfortable!
Jordan BettingerJordan Bettinger
18:20 30 Apr 24
Dr. Lin is a godsend. He's incredible with kids and so good at calming them as they face "the chair". So kind, so patient...he even sings to them! The hygienists and office staff are very friendly and fantastic with children as well. Can't imagine a more ideal place for young ones to get their teeth (and their hearts!) cared for.
Laura WoodsideLaura Woodside
14:36 30 Apr 24
Today was our 4th visit to Hurst Pediatric Dentistry and my almost 5 year old daughter left saying “Mom I had so much fun at the dentist!!” I am continually blown away by the care, kindness and expertise from Dr. Lin and the whole office staff. Truly a unique pediatric dentist office and I could not recommend them more!!!!!
Lobat JamshidnejadLobat Jamshidnejad
15:07 28 Feb 24
I recently had the pleasure of taking my 3 years old baby to Hurst Pediatric Dentistry, and I couldn't be more impressed with the level of care and professionalism we received. The staff were incredibly warm and welcoming. Once inside, Dr. Lin and his assistant, Ashley, were fantastic with my baby. They were patient, gentle, and made sure my child felt comfortable throughout the entire appointment. I highly recommend Hurst Pediatric Dentistry to any parent looking for a dentist who truly cares about their little patients.
Alexandria TaylorAlexandria Taylor
01:43 06 Feb 24
I don’t have enough adjectives to describe how amazing this place is! As an adult who has past dental trauma, I prayed for a better experience for my daughter and I found it here. Dr. Lin was patient and easy-going with my daughter who can be quite stubborn. He made both of us so at ease and was so thorough. The entire experience from walking in to walking out was amazing. Kudos to the entire team and doctor. Can’t wait for her next appointment!
Krystal EaglesonKrystal Eagleson
16:28 29 Jan 24
Dr. Lin and staff are the best!My daughter had to have 4 baby teeth removed. They went above and beyond making her feel comfortable. My daughter couldn't even feel them being extracted. Everyone is so patient and nice! The best pediatric dentist ever! They have cool prizes for the end of the visit and movies to help kids stay occupied during the cleaning.We've been coming here for over 2 years. They always get us seated right away and are fast and efficient. Definitely recommend!

Schedule Your Appointment Today!