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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Fluoride Treatments in Children

02/25/2010

Question:

Is it absolutely necessary for a child to receive a fluoride treatment at every dental visit? Twice a year?

Answer:

Are fluoride treatments in the office absolutely necessary? No, but they are beneficial! In-office fluoride treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouth rinses.

It is certainly important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. The primary and permanent teeth come in during this timeframe. In August 2006, the American Dental Association published new guidelines regarding professional fluoride applications. The guidelines are based upon good solid research and the value of these in-office treatments are validated at the web site below.

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-american-dental-associations-fluoride-guidelines-77166.html  

If you have concerns about a child receiving fluoride, I would discuss it directly with your dentist. He/she will consider your unique case/circumstances and provide appropriate recommendations. Please drop me another note if you have any further questions.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM DR. GRIFFEN:

Most studies of fluoride treatments have been conducted by giving fluoride treatments twice a year.  We don't think once a year works as well as twice a year.  So most dentists give fluoride treatments to all children twice a year to make sure they are protected. 

Some children may never get a cavity even without any fluoride treatments.  If we could predict who would never get cavities, then those children could skip fluoride treatments.  The problem is that we can't predict very accurately which children aren't going to get cavities.  So most dentists give fluoride treatments to all children.

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Children) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Susan   Bauchmoyer, RDH, EFDA,  MS Susan Bauchmoyer, RDH, EFDA, MS
Associate Professor – Clinical, Clinic Director
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University

Ann A Griffen, DDS, MS Ann A Griffen, DDS, MS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University