Fluoride

Reduce your child's risk for cavities!

What Is Fluoride?

A natural mineral that can help protect teeth from decay.

A blonde girl in a blue shirt showing off her arm muscles on a beach, with her teeth protected by fluoride treatment.

Fluoride hardens your child’s teeth and helps reduce their risk for cavities. It can also reverse early signs of decay!

Similar to brushing, flossing, and visiting your pediatric dentist, fluoride is an essential part of your child’s oral health care.

How does it work?

As your child eats or drinks, the bacteria in their mouth feeds on the sugars in their diet. This produces an acid attack on their teeth, stripping away calcium and phosphate and leaving them more vulnerable to decay.

Saliva plays a key role in defending their teeth from these acid attacks, but often it’s not enough. That’s where fluoride comes in!

Fluoride works to strengthen and remineralize the enamel layer of teeth. It repairs weakened teeth and protects them against cavities.

How can your child get fluoride? There are multiple ways!

Different Sources of Fluoride

There are many ways your child can get this health benefit. Here are the most popular!

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Water

Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the level of fluoride in a public water system to fight cavities. In 2016, 72.8%… This text opens a new tab to CDC article on fluoridated water… of the US population had access to fluoridated water. However, some water sources like well water do not have the recommended level for maximum protection against cavities, which will be discussed during your child’s dental visit.

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Diet

Fluoride is found in many foods and drinks. The more processed the food is, the more it is likely to have. However, ingesting high levels of fluoride isn’t necessarily a good thing (scroll to our FAQ to read why). Having your child eat a balanced diet will help them receive a healthy amount.

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Toothpaste

Brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste is highly effective as it allows the enamel to absorb it directly. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists… This text opens a new tab to the AAPD website… recommends children use fluoridated toothpaste (see our FAQ below for the recommended amounts). Your child can also obtain fluoride with fluoridated mouthwash.

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Treatment

Our Richland and Sumner pediatric dentists offer a topical fluoride treatment, which is more concentrated than other sources and is very effective in fighting decay. For children under 16, we recommend this treatment at least twice a year. If your child already shows signs of decay, we may recommend silver diamine fluoride.

What’s the best source? At Smile Surfers Kids Dentistry, we recommend a healthy combination of all four!

We love these dentists! They're great with our kids and always present all the options available. We've been here for years. Love it!

Katie A. (5-Star Google Review)

Why Do Parents Trust Our Pediatric Dentists?

Smile Surfers Kids Dentistry puts your child's safety and health above all else!

Exceptional Care

We are known for having your child's best interest at heart. Our preventative dental care and education will help your child avoid dental problems and unnecessary dental treatments. If a problem does arise, you can feel certain in our treatment recommendations, knowing they are safe and effective.

Kids holding hands running along a beach, with strong teeth protected by fluoride.
We've Got Your Back

We want you to feel just as good as your little surfer does about visiting us. We encourage open communication, so you can feel confident, educated, and informed at all times. We also try to make your life easier with convenient appointment times, financing options, and more perks!

Mother holding her young daughter smiling on the beach in Hawaii, with strong teeth protected by fluoride.
Kids Love Us

Everything we do is tailored to give your little surfers a positive dental experience, from our fun coastal-themed decor to the gentle techniques we use to keep them comfortable. Many parents can't believe the way we have transformed children's dentistry from back in their day (some might say they are jealous!).

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FAQs About Fluoride

Read the answers below.
  • What is silver diamine fluoride?

    If your child shows signs of decay but too young or unable to receive restorative treatment at the moment, we may recommend silver diamine fluoride. This fluoride treatment can stop decay from worsening and buy us time until your child can receive proper treatment.

    Silver diamine fluoride is a colorless liquid that contains both silver and fluoride. The silver helps penetrate into the surface of the enamel and kill cavity-causing bacteria, while the fluoride helps remineralize and strengthen the tooth. When used together in silver diamine fluoride, they can slow down or stop dental decay.

  • Is fluoride safe for children?

    Yes, it is safe when consumed or applied in small doses.

    Fluoride dental products like toothpaste and mouthwash are safe as long as they are not swallowed. Consuming too much can cause dental fluorosis, which affects teeth still forming under the gums and results in white spots on the surface of teeth.

    At Smile Surfers Kids Dentistry, our topical fluoride treatment and silver diamine fluoride are both safe and highly effective.

  • How much fluoride toothpaste should my child use?

    The American Academy of Pediatrics… This text opens a new tab to the AAP website… recommends using a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts. Up until age three, they should only use a “smear” of toothpaste.

    For children 3 to 6 years old, they should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. During this time, we encourage you to help them brush their teeth, thoroughly cleaning all their teeth, and monitor them so they do not swallow toothpaste.

  • How much does this treatment cost? Does insurance over it?

    Fluoride is typically covered by dental insurance.

    In some cases, your insurance policy may only cover this treatment once per year. In that case, we will work with you to find a solution so that your child can receive the ADA… This text opens a new tab to the ADA website… and AAPD recommendation of twice per year.

    If you would like a cost estimate or want to verify your insurance coverage, please contact our friendly team!

  • What is a caries risk assessment?

    A caries risk assessment is a preventative test to determine your child’s risk of getting cavities. With this knowledge, our pediatric dentists can tailor their at-home advice and treatment recommendations to keep your child from developing dental problems.

    Fluoride plays a role in the caries risk test, which is why we will want to know your child’s:

    • Water consumption
    • Quality of water
    • Diet
    • Toothpaste
    • Mouthwash
    • Dental hygiene routine

    Schedule an appointment to find out if your child is at risk for cavities.

Protect Your Child's Smile

Contact us to see if your little surfer is getting enough fluoride!