Is Fluoride Toothpaste Safe For Children?
Whether the use of fluoride toothpaste is safe for children and infants has been raised concerns. Use for children is recommended by the American Dental Association. However, children may be more prone to excess fluoride intake-related complications than adults. This is because their teeth are more vulnerable to excess fluoride damage. It is therefore important to use any type of fluoride-based products, such as toothpaste, in the safest ways recommended for children.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in water, soil and air. Nearly all water has some fluoride, but the levels of fluoride can vary depending on the source. Moreover, fluoride is added to many of America’s public water supplies. The added amount varies by area, and fluoride is not added to all areas.
It is added to the supply of toothpaste and water since fluoride can help:
- Preventing Cavities & Tooth Decay
- It strengthens weak dent enamel and reduces mineral loss.
- Helps repair acid damage to the tooth.
- Reduces oral / plaque bacteria.
It has a higher fluoride concentration than fluoridated water and is not intended to be swallowed.
Is Fluoride Safe For Children?
Discussions were held as to whether fluoride is safe for babies. Yes, it’s. It has been recommended, however, that you use fluoride toothpaste with a seal of acceptance from your country’s relevant medical authorities. It is also frequently recommended as supplements for children.
Fluoride is usually not recommended for infants, however, unless they live in areas where drinking water lacks fluoride, including bottled water. So, what action should be taken for infants using fluoride toothpaste? The amount should be about the size of a grain of rice for babies and infants.
Before the age of 8, excess fluoride is not good. That’s when human teeth develop. At this time, excess fluoride may result in a condition called enamel fluorosis. This condition is characterized by discolored teeth. At times, these symptoms are not very noticeable and the condition is usually mild.
Symptoms Of Fluoride Poisoning:
The reason for excess fluoride intake is mostly due to accidental fluoride toothpaste swallowing, mouth wash, rinsing, or any other fluoride-based dental care product. If the body is not required to take excess fluoride supplements, this condition can also occur. Excess fluoride intake can also lead to poisoning. It is not a serious condition or a life threat, but it is very common. It usually happens half an hour after intake. This condition can last almost 24 hours. Its Poisoning symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Increased salivation
- Thirst increased
Can Fluoride Be Used By Young Children (age 3 years and up)?
Yes, fluoride toothpaste can be used for children aged 3 or older. Make sure the quantity used is not more than a pea’s size. It is common practice for Toddlers to swallow toothpaste, which should be discouraged. Be around when your children are brushing on their own. Tell them not to swallow the toothpaste and spit it out. Keep products out of children’s reach so they don’t take large amounts of them playfully.
What About High-Fluoride?
To people with severe tooth decay or high risk of cavities, dentists sometimes prescribe high-fluoride. These kinds of toothpaste have a higher fluoride concentration than anything you can buy from your local drug store over-the-counter. High-fluoride toothpaste should not be shared with other family members like any other prescription medication. High-fluoride toothpaste is safe for adults when used as directed. Children should not use toothpaste with high fluoride.
Are There Any Alternatives To Fluoride For Children?
There are fluoride-free toothpaste available if you are concerned about fluoride. Here you can buy it:
Fluoride-free toothpaste will help clean your teeth, but it does not protect your teeth from decay in the same way as fluoride toothpaste. If you decide to use fluoride-free toothpaste, ensure regular brushing and regular dental cleaning follow-up. This will help catch any early cavities or signs of decline.
If you want its benefits but are concerned about safety, consider looking for toothpaste with the approval seal of the American Dental Association. To earn this seal, manufacturers must submit studies and other documents showing their product’s safety and efficacy.
For most parents, oral and dental hygiene of children is a primary concern. If you prefer to stick to traditional toothpaste with fluoride, keep in mind the tips we’ve given. Alternative toothpaste may be preferable for a few days a week and fluoride may be used the other days. This can create a good balance.
For children and adults, fluoride toothpaste is generally safe and recommended. But, especially for babies and small children, it is important to use it correctly. There are lots of fluoride-free options available to concern you about the safety of fluoride. Just make sure you match a consistent brushing schedule to keep cavities up to decay and regular dental visits.
Also Read: Teething, Or Your Baby Is Sick?