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Should My Child Be Brushing with Fluoride? Our Kelowna Dentists Weigh In


If it’s time for your child to start brushing their teeth, you might be wondering what kind of toothpaste they should have. Our Kelowna dental clinic hears from many parents wondering about how much fluoride is safe for their little ones.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a key ingredient in most toothpastes because this mineral—found naturally in soil and water—helps teeth resist decay. Fluoride can even reverse tooth decay that has already set in. Because fluoride is generally regarded as an easy, safe and effective way to help prevent tooth decay, many communities have fluoride in their water.

While fluoride is a great source of protection for adults, children under the age of six can only be exposed to low levels of fluoride to avoid dental fluorosis, a condition where teeth take on white spots.

So, how much fluoride is best for your child? Kelowna dentists can give you specific and professional advice about the right amount of fluoride for your child based on his or her teeth and whether your water is fluoridated, but there are some general rules for children under six.

Should I use a toothpaste that contains fluoride for my child?

Children Under Three
A dentist will be able to tell if your child is at risk of developing tooth decay. If tooth decay is likely, your dentist will suggest helping their teeth using a rice-grain size amount of toothpaste containing fluoride. You’re helping them because you want to make sure they’re brushing well and spitting rather than swallowing. Ingesting too much toothpaste could lead to dental fluorosis.

If your child’s teeth look healthy and the risk of tooth decay is small, she’ll probably be sent home with a toothbrush and instructions to brush with just a bit of water.

Children Between Three and Six
Our Kelowna dental clinic will generally suggest children between three and six years old brush with a little bit of fluoridated toothpaste. An amount the size of a green pea is perfect. Mom or dad should continue helping them brush their teeth to make sure they’re not swallowing the toothpaste.

Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!

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