That depends, as a Dental Hygienist, I treat each person (child or adult) individually. What I recommended for one of my patients may not be necessary for the next patient.
Before We Being
Before we get into whether fluoride is the right choice for you or your child, let’s talk about what Fluoride is.
Fluoride is a mineral that makes your teeth stronger, reducing the risk of cavities. It is sometimes in our water, our toothpaste, and we have the option of Fluoride treatments when we visit a dental health professional.
In general, fluoride toothpaste isn’t necessary for children from 0-3; however, if your child is AT RISK for cavities, it may be suggested after they’re 1.
Risk factors where we might suggest a Fluoride toothpaste:
Oral hygiene habits (plaque or no plaque OR has help with brushing)
History of decay for the child and family members
Access to care or socioeconomic status
Risk Vs. Benefit
There is always a RISK vs. BENEFIT in every situation. Children should be monitored with toothpaste until age 6 because they may swallow it. Toothpaste with Fluoride generally starts from age 1-3 with monitoring. An amount smaller than a grain of rice is applied to the brush. After age 3 they can increase the dose to the size of a green pea.
Fluoride treatments with a dental professional are a different situation. A topical Fluoride treatment, generally a varnish (painted onto the teeth), has benefits of reducing tooth decay with applications of 1-2 times a year.
The varnish sticks to the tooth, reducing the risk of swallowing; the stickiness also increases the effectiveness of the treatment.
As a Dental Hygienist, I am here to support you and your family in achieving a healthy mouth, reducing your cavity risk as well as preventing other oral health problems! Together we will discuss what the best decision is for your family.
When should I schedule their first visit?
It is recommended to have them checked by a dental professional within 6 months of the first tooth erupting OR by age 1.
To schedule a visit or if you want more information call 780-513-1399.
Alberta Health Services
Canadian Dental Association
Canadian Dental Hygiene Association