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Children's Dental Care

When it comes to children's dental care, fluoride treatments are an essential part of maintaining strong and healthy teeth. Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding dental care for children and the benefits, costs and administration of fluoride treatments for kids:

Why is fluoride included in children’s dental care and treatment plans?

Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth’s enamel. In a process called demineralization, the tooth’s enamel loss of minerals such as calcium. Demineralization can be increased by eating certain foods, or acid being produced by bacteria in the mouth. Remineralization is the opposite: minerals are deposited to the tooth’s enamel. Both of these processes occur regularly. However, when they become out of balance and there is more demineralization than remineralization, the tooth’s enamel can become less strong. When fluoride reaches the enamel of the tooth, it helps with the remineralization process.

How is fluoride administered?

Fluoride can be administered to children in many different ways. Gels and varnishes are applied directly to the teeth. Other products, like water and tablets, are ingested. Another helpful way to categorize treatments is fluoride treatments that can be part of an at-home dental care routine, such as toothpaste and rinses as well as those that can be applied at the dentist’s office,including varnishes and gels.

How do I know what kind of fluoride is best for my child?

Your dentist or dental hygienist can help you by taking into account all sources of fluoride your child is already exposed to before deciding what kind of fluoridated dental products would be best. This includes determining if your child gets fluoride through water (Calgary does not have fluoridated water).

Can a person get too much fluoride?

A level of fluoride that is too high in early childhood can cause fluorosis, which affects younger children while their teeth are still developing under the gums. If this occurs, it is usually very mild, and changes the appearance of teeth but does not affect function. This mild form of fluorosis results in small white specks on baby teeth.

I am concerned about affordable dental care. How affordable are fluoride treatments?

Your dentist can help you determine the cost of fluoride applications, which can vary depending on the patient's’ needs. There are also several options for those seeking affordable dental care for children in Calgary. Some families may be eligible to have the cost fluoride treatments covered through Alberta Health Services due to income level and other factors.

What age should children begin receiving fluoride treatments, and what amount of fluoridated products is ideal?

Dentists may recommend fluoride being administered to children between the ages of 6 and 16, although they may be recommended for younger children as well. When products like fluoride varnish and gels are used during dental appointments for kids, your dentist adjusts the amount of product used. When it comes to products used at home, the Canadian Dental Association recommends a grain of rice-sized toothpaste for very young children, and a pea-sized one is appropriate for children six years and older.

Want To Learn More?

To learn more about dental care and maximizing your dental health, read our FAQ list or visit our blog to find out more general information about dental care. Should you need more information, or to book an appointment, you can contact us by phone at 403-248-2066 or online.

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