Encouraging your child(ren) to brush their teeth twice a day and floss are all important steps to ensure your child’s smile stays healthy, happy, & cavity-free! Yet, there’s a single ingredient found in our water and our toothpaste that naturally acts as “nature’s cavity fighter.” You likely have heard of something called “fluoride” before, but may not be aware about its importance!

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that appears in most bodies of water, rocks, plants, and even some foods. We’ve come to discover that fluoride is a proven way to prevent tooth decay, so the mineral is often added to community water sources and dental products, like the toothpaste in your cabinet!

Why is fluoride important?

When we eat or drink, the bacteria in our mouths feed on sugar/starches and ultimately release acids that break down food. The problem is, these acids can also erode the enamel that protects our teeth. When enamel breaks down, that’s when tooth decay, cavities, and other oral hygiene issues can occur.

Is fluoride safe for children?

It sure is! Fluoride is safe for children in the correct dose. However, too much fluoride in early childhood can lead to fluorosis, which may result in white spots or pitting of the enamel. If you’re ever concerned about your child getting too much fluoride, please talk with a pediatric dentist at Eversmiles! We’re more than happy to help you determine the correct amount of fluoride to keep your child’s smile healthy!

Where can I find more information about fluoride?

Please view the following sources if you’re interested in learning more about fluoride:


7 Easy Tips for Keeping your Baby Cavity-Free

Oral bacteria is passed from caregiver to infant. For this reason, avoid sharing food (pre-chewing), oral items, or rinsing dropped pacifiers in your own mouth, especially if you have dental restorations or a history of decay. Advise other caregivers that your child may encounter to do the same.

Keep your mouth healthy – chronic inflammation is linked to other systemic health risk factors, which can affect fetal health.

Chew sugar free gum, ideally xylitol based (e.g. Ice Breakers Ice Cubes, Spry)

Make it a goal to wean off night feedings prior to the eruption of your baby’s first tooth, should your child’s health permit it.

As your child grows, should you choose to offer juice, time the juice to coincide with a meal. Avoid offering juice if possible, especially between meals, and reserve it as a treat for special occasions.

Use infant bottles for water, breast milk or formula only. When traveling, we recommend bringing water, breast milk, or formula, as needed for your child’s age.

Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for all children, even those who cannot spit. Use a small amount (about the size of a grain of rice), smushed onto the toothbrush, and store toothpaste out of reach of children. Start off slowly, with nighttime brushing, and gradually build daily brushing into your child’s routine.

If your child has special dietary requirements (e.g. Pediasure, nasogastric tube) or medications (e.g. albuterol, vyvanse), we can help you manage oral health and talk about how best to deliver supplemental nutrition and medication to prevent decay.

Our goal is to instill healthy habits early on, to help every child remain cavity-free for life. Ultimately, if your child has decay, do not feel guilty. We are here to work with you as a member of your child’s healthcare team. Together, we can give your child a fresh start, and manage his or her disease going forward.

Eversmiles Pediatric Dentistry

Our mission at Eversmiles Pediatric is to give your child happy, healthy smiles that last a lifetime. We work in partnership with our patients, their families and the health care community to provide the best treatment, while creating positive dental experiences that will set the stage for long-term oral health.

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