By Dr. O. Karnakova
Fluoride treatment for children is essential to help prevent decay and helps them grow with a healthy dentition. The guidelines for fluoride are based on their age to ensure adequate levels are met. Children under the age of two should not receive any topical form of fluoride due to the potential of swallowing it. Many communities contain fluoridated drinking water and is adequate for children two and under. If your community does not offer fluoridated water, it can be offered as a dietary supplement.
Children between the ages of two and eight should be using toothpaste or mouthwash specifically designed for children. The toothpaste generally contains one-third the amount of fluoride found in regular toothpaste to prevent any fluorosis. Brushing and mouth rinsing should always be supervised by the parent to ensure the correct amount is used, and that it is spit out when finished.
Professionally applied fluorides come in gels, foams, rinses, or trays, and should only be applied by a dental professional. These fluorides contain a much higher concentration and are not needed on a daily basis. In addition, the types of fluoride applied can be determined by the dental professional based on child’s age.