Fluoride is an important part in fighting tooth decay in children
The number of young children suffering from tooth decay has been steadily rising in recent years. The reasons for this include a poor diet including sweets and sugary drinks, poor dental hygiene and in some cases, a lack of fluoride.
Here at Illume, we have covered the importance of good dental hygiene in previous blogs. It is important to teach children to brush their teeth thoroughly twice a day to help reduce acid build-up and plaque which can lead to cavities and tooth decay which in turn can lead to children needing fillings and maybe tooth removal. It is also important to bring them for regular healthy mouth reviews and hygiene support visits.
Whilst cleaning and diet is very important, not everyone is aware of the importance of fluoride, a naturally occurring element which can help strengthen tooth enamel and protect teeth from decay.
In some parts of the UK, fluoride is added to water supplies, although this is less common than people think. However, according to the British Dental Association, areas that don’t have added fluoride see higher numbers of children with tooth decay. The addition of fluoride to water has been researched for over 70 years, and water fluoridation has been proven to reduce decay by 40 to 60 percent. Yet this is still unavailable to many people.
“Water fluoridation is safe and is one of the cheapest and most effective measures to reduce unacceptable inequalities of tooth decay” – BDA.
Fluoride is also added to most toothpaste and we would recommend using one of these and encourage parents to supervise young children cleaning their teeth to ensure they brush for the correct amount of time and clean every tooth. Our mantra is ‘clean every surface of every tooth every day’.
So, to recap, our advice to parents is to ensure children
• have regular healthy mouth reviews and hygiene support visits
• eat and drink a good and balanced diet without too many sugary drinks or sweets and avoid consuming these drinks and sweets between meals
• follow a good tooth brushing and cleaning regime. Brush teeth at least twice a day with an age-appropriate fluoride toothpaste, once in the morning and again before bed. This helps reduce acid and plaque which can lead to tooth decay.