Fluoride is an effective – and safe – way of preventing cavities in children.
Your child’s teeth need fluoride. Fluoride makes the enamel (the outermost surface of the teeth) more resistant to cavities. Fluoride is available in three forms:
- The kind we ingest from the water supply or tablets
- The topical kind from toothpaste, rinses and from professional applications in a dental office.
- Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) which is a mix of silver (which kills the bacteria that cause cavities) and fluoride (which strengthens the tooth). It does not kill all the bacteria and therefore needs to be applied at regular intervals as determined by Dr. Kari. SDF is a temporary measure, buying us more time until the patient is more cooperative and able to have the teeth fixed.
Topical fluoride needs to be repeated at regular intervals to get the maximum benefit – this means daily for toothpastes and rinses, and every six months by your dentist. When professional administered, topical fluorides aren’t dangerous and they don’t leave permanent marks. It is possible to ingest too much fluoride by swallowing too many tablets or too much toothpaste when a child is young, – and this can cause permanent marks on the teeth – but this is extremely rare.
Dental and medical associations in Canada support water fluoridation. Get the facts in this video featuring our own Dr. Kari.