Cavities are still the number one disease in children and account for more lost school time then anything else. Fluoride for children is a very important element in the fight against dental decay. Studies have shown that if fluoride is introduced as children's teeth are forming, the enamel will be harder and stronger,more resistant to breakdown. The addition of fluoride in public water systems has been shown to decrease the amount of cavities in that population. The internal effects of fluoride can only be seen as teeth are forming so it is important if your water is not fluoridated to supplement with fluoride drops or vitamins prescribed by your dentist or pediactrician. The topical effects of fluoride are beneficial as well; flouridated water and fluoride treatments at the dental office help to remineralize areas of breakdown. Make sure to let your dental providers know where you get your fluoride from.
A note from Dr. Zarrella: Children as well as adults will benefit from regular professional fluoride treatments. In adults we know that as we get older we are more prone to enamel breakdown due to dry mouth and recession. Fluoride protects our dental treatments like crowns, bridges, and fillings as well as reducing tooth decay by up to 40 percent.