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Is Fluoride Good or Bad For Toddlers?

When anything is added to drinking water there is always a concern that it may be detrimental to health, whether in the long or short term. Overall, it has been discovered that fluoride is beneficial to teeth. When fluoride toothpaste is used, children’s cavities are reduced by between 15 and 30%. Adding fluoride to water supplies as part of the treatment process reduces the occurrence of cavities by up to 40%.

Toothpaste, drinking water and fluoride

There is some evidence found after a Harvard study in the United States that actually ingesting fluoride could inflict harm on a child’s cognitive outcomes. It seems this is because the substance is powerful enough to affect how the body and brain functions. There is a condition called fluorosis, which takes place if too much fluoride is ingested and makes its way into the body. This unfortunately results in the occurrence of pitted and stained teeth which allegedly affects up to 41% of children and adolescents.

There are other potential consequences of high fluoride intake, which includes a higher incidence of ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease. As long as your child doesn’t swallow the fluoridated toothpaste, the protection that fluoride will have on preventing tooth decay will most likely outweigh not using fluoride at all. There is also a situation that has emerged that using toothpaste with fluoride will depend on whether your drinking water has been fluoridated. On top of that some toddler food like infant formula and even some dairy products may contain fluoride because of the water source that has been used in the making of the products and the water supplied to the cows that provide the milk.

You can assess your family’s fluoride intake

There are several factors that in the end determine the risk of fluoride to your family, which include whether your drinking water has added fluoride. You can find this out by contacting your water supplier. From that information you should add how much your toddler and the rest of your family enjoy eating sugary food and soft drinks. All the information together will help you decide if you and your toddler should use fluoridated toothpaste. Your main aim is to protect your family’s overall health for both the long and short term.

There is no doubt that fluoride has been found to be an effective way to prevent and even reverse tooth decay in its early stages. It also adds strength to the teeth, which means it is more difficult for acid to damage the teeth. However, in the long run, the only way you can be sure your toddler’s teeth remain healthy throughout their different stages of development is to start arranging visits to Malmin Dental as young as aged one.  Your dentist will be able to tell if the teeth require fluoride treatment. You will want to know how well your child’s baby teeth are developing and ensure that he or she does not suffer from the painful effects of tooth decay.

If your toddler is nearing the age for his or her first dental visit you should call Malmin Dental to arrange an appointment with one of their gentle dentists.


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