Brushing and flossing are important, but did you know rinsing with fluoride can be a superhero for your child's teeth too?

What is Fluoride and How Does It Help?

Fluoride is a mineral that fights cavities and keeps teeth strong. It works by coating teeth and making it harder for plaque to stick and harden.

There are two types of fluoride:

Systemic fluoride: This is swallowed, often through fluoridated tap water. While teeth are still forming under the gums, fluoride makes them stronger and more cavity-resistant.

Topical fluoride: This is applied directly to teeth that are already in the mouth. It comes in toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional treatments done by the dentist. Fluoride varnish and foam applied by the dentist are great tools to fight cavities.

Fluoride Treatments from your Dentist

These quick in-office treatments take just a few minutes. Afterward, your child might need to wait 30 minutes before rinsing, eating, or drinking to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on their oral health, these treatments might be needed every 3, 6, or 12 months. The dentist might also recommend at-home fluoride rinses, gels, or special mouthwashes.

Choosing the Right Fluoride Treatment

Look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance on any fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash you buy. This seal means the product has been tested by the ADA and is safe and effective.

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