Fluoride is an essential mineral that helps to strengthen the teeth. It prevents tooth decay by slowing down the breakdown of the enamel while increasing the rate of mineralization in the teeth. Fluoride is particularly important for young ones whose teeth are still developing. However, too much of it can do more harm than good. It can lead to fluorosis, a dental condition that's characterized by demineralization of the tooth's surface. The condition can weaken the teeth structure and make your child susceptible to cavities. As you strive to promote the dental health of your child, watch out for these sources of fluoride sources which could affect your kids.
All forms of toothpaste have some fluoride in it, but some have more of it than other. In fact, most of the toothpaste designed for adults contains a higher level of fluoride that's not healthy for your kids. You need to pay attention to the amount of toothpaste that your child uses every day – a full brush is too much even for an adult. Only smear a little on the toothbrush and teach the child to adhere to this amount. Alternatively, you can purchase toothpaste with lower fluoride levels, especially the brands that are specially designed for kids.
Some forms of processed foods have high levels of fluoride, and they can contribute to the daily fluoride intake in your child. Foods such as processed cereals, mechanically separated meats and soups may contain fluoride, particularly if the water used in their processing had fluoride. The chances are that the water is fluorinated since the municipal council uses fluoride in the water it supplies. When you combine this fluoride with that obtained from toothpaste and drinking water, you will find that the levels are dangerously high for your kids. If possible, avoid feeding children with processed foods that may contain fluoride until they are old enough to withstand higher levels without falling at risk of getting fluorosis.
Sodas and juices
Most manufacturers of sodas and reconstituted juices use fluorinated water in preparing the drinks. For this reason, a majority of these processed beverages contain fluoride levels that are not suitable for your children. While it may be not harmful to let your kids take sodas and juices, you should limit the consumption to protect their teeth not only from fluorosis but also cavities due to excess sugars. Instead, you can have homemade juices from fresh fruits, smoothies and milkshakes which can go a long way in strengthening their teeth.
Visit the dentist for regular checkups to ensure that any cases of fluorosis and other dental conditions are detected and treated early. Teach your kids to brush their teeth after consuming sugary and processed foods as well to maintain proper dental health.