Showing your child how to brush and floss properly can go a long way in helping to set up lasting patterns of good dental hygiene, reduce the potential for cavities, and encourage overall positive health. It’s equally important to ensure your child receives routine dental cleanings and checkups every six months to maximize his/her dental health, including a fluoride treatment. Fluoride provides the extra protection children need to help combat daily doses of bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and ultimately help your child’s smile to remain happy and healthy. And now, dentists are utilizing the additional cavity-preventing properties of silver diamine fluoride.
Why is a Routine Fluoride Treatment Beneficial for Children?
No matter how dedicated we are as caregivers in supplying a healthy diet to our children, bacteria in the mouth are naturally triggered by sugars contained in food. Although healthy foods like fresh produce; lean protein, and whole grains may contain less sugar, there is still the probability that some amount of sugar will “slip by.” The combination of this sugar combined with the natural bacteria in our mouths creates a harmful acid.
Fluoride works as a barrier to protect the enamel of teeth from this harmful acid that ultimately leads tooth decay. And, while fluoride contained in various toothpaste, tap water sources, and supplements can help, these sources do not contain concentrated forms of fluoride like the varnish your dentist applies.
How Do Fluoride Treatments Work?
Typically, dentists apply a sticky, nontoxic, fluoride varnish over teeth after a cleaning. Parents are advised to keep their children from eating or drinking for 30 minutes following a fluoride treatment to make sure the coding fully sets.
Now, in addition to traditional fluoride treatments, many pediatric dentists are incorporating the use of silver diamine fluoride. Commonly referred to as “SDF,” silver diamine fluoride is a safe and effective colorless liquid that contains both fluoride (38%) and silver particles (25%). The mixture dually eliminates harmful bacteria prone to causing tooth decay AND unlike traditional fluoride treatments, SDF can eliminate a cavity from progressing. In essence, SDF is an even stronger preventative measure against further decay (or potential for decay). Dentists and caregivers appreciate the additional benefits that SDF treatments offer, including:
- Added protection against hypersensitivity
- No harmful side effects and it’s 100% pain-free
- Cost effective (one drop of SDF can treat up to 5 teeth!)
- Advantageous in reversing aggressive stages of tooth decay
- Competent solution for children requiring special health needs
- Unlike fillings, SDF doesn’t simply remedy a cavity, it continues to provide maximum defense against oral infection
Just how effective is SDF in arresting incidents of tooth decay? One clinical study demonstrated that a test group receiving an application of silver diamine fluoride once a year improved in reduction/prevention of tooth decay by 40%.
Your One-Stop Hop for Fluoride Treatments and More
At Kangaroo Smiles, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive pediatric dental care in a safe, comfortable, and fun environment, including fluoride and SDF treatments. At both our Lowell and (new!) Methuen offices, we offer full dental pediatric checkups, cleanings, as well as:
- Protective Dental Sealants
- Stainless Steel Pediatric Crowns
- Space Maintainers
- Special Needs Dental Care
- Tooth Extractions
- White Dental Fillings
- Baby Tooth Therapeutic Pulpotomies
- White Pediatric Crowns
- Custom Athletic Mouth Guards
- Tooth Whitening
- Emergency Care
If you’d like to learn more about the importance of your child receiving a regular fluoride treatment and SDF application, or would simply like to learn more about our Lowell and Methuen office visits, please call us now at 978-425-1496. We look forward to talking with you soon!
Be sure too, to take a look at our ongoing contents and monthly prizes! Children have opportunities to be honored for anything from “super shiny teeth” and “bravery” to “fantastic flosser” and more!