How Does Fluoride Help Children Prevent Cavities?

If you want to help your child prevent cavities, then teaching them good hygiene principles as early as possible is the most important thing to do. However, there’s more to enjoying a lifetime of cavity-free teeth than just brushing and flossing every day. For example, regular checkups and cleanings are necessary to remove cavity-causing bacteria (in the form of tartar) before they lead to trouble. At our Newhall, CA, dental office, we also provide preventive measures such as fluoride treatment, which significantly boosts your child’s ability to keep teeth strong and prevent the formation of cavities.

The best way to prevent cavities

Cavities form when oral bacteria weaken the protective enamel around healthy teeth, which makes them vulnerable to infection from the harmful bacteria. This occurs as the bacteria in plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) metabolize sugars and carbs. They turn them into acids, which sap minerals from the enamel until it’s too weak to repel the bacteria. Besides consistently cleaning teeth of harmful plaque and tartar, preventing cavities also means keeping tooth enamel strong and healthy enough to effectively shield the tooth structure underneath it.

How fluoride helps make this possible

The enamel around healthy teeth is made almost entirely of minerals, such as calcium and, to some degree, fluoride. During a routine exam and cleaning, we can determine if your child’s enamel can use support, and suggest applying topical fluoride treatment to strengthen it, if necessary. As a mineral, fluoride can bond to the weakened mineral strands of compromised tooth enamel. This fortifies the enamel against the consistent attacks by oral bacteria and the acids that they produce. When combined with a continuingly good routine of dental hygiene and preventive care, fluoride can help your child more successfully avoid cavity development.

Other cavity prevention measures

In addition to brushing and flossing teeth, and occasionally applying fluoride treatment when necessary, we can also help your child prevent cavities through several other measures. For example, dental sealants can provide more direct protection by creating a barrier between tooth enamel and oral bacteria. This barrier, made from highly biocompatible acrylic, adds an important boost to your child’s oral health, especially if their tooth enamel has grown significantly weaker. After a thorough examination, we’ll consult with you and your child to determine if fluoride treatment and/or dental sealants are appropriate treatment options.

Prevent cavities better with fluoride

Fluoride is one of many ways in which we can help your child prevent cavities more effectively. For more information, schedule a consultation by calling Newhall Dental Arts in Newhall, CA, today at (661) 259-7760.