Even if you regularly brush and floss your child’s teeth or supervise them as they do it themselves, there may be more you can do to ensure your child has the best possible dental health. In fact, even though dental health is statistically improving among adults, dental problems among children are on the rise. Studies show that 25% of children ages 2-5 have had at least one cavity. More than 50% of children ages 12-15 have at least one cavity, and more than 66% of youth ages 16-19 have dealt with tooth decay. As any pediatric dentist in Brooklyn will tell you, cavities occur when acid and bacteria—most commonly found in starches and sugars—form plaque, which builds up on your child’s teeth and eventually eats away the enamel. As the enamel is eaten, tiny holes begin to form. They get bigger over time, eventually developing into full scale cavities.
One thing that is immensely helpful in preventing cavities is fluoride, which is why your pediatric dentist may ask you about the fluoride levels in your Brooklyn water supply. Fluoride prevents tooth decay when it comes into contact with the surface of the tooth and when it is ingested into the body. It prevents the acid in plaque from eating away at the tooth enamel and aids in the healing of teeth damaged by acid. Although fluoride cannot heal cavities, it can reverse minor dental damage.
Because of the great dental benefits of fluoride, the substance has been added to the water supply for more than 60 years. In fact, more than 60% of U.S. homes receive fluoride-enhanced tap water, although some areas have greater levels of fluoride in the water than others. Scientists estimate that the addition of fluoride has reduced incidences of tooth decay by 20-40%. The ideal fluoride levels for optimal dental health are between 0.7 and 1.2 parts fluoride per million parts of water. Your pediatric dentist may know the fluoride levels in your area of Brooklyn and whether they are at the optimal level. However, many people eschew tap water in favor of bottled water, which ordinarily lacks fluoride. Your pediatric dentist may recommend certain brands of fluoride-enhanced bottled water to help with your child’s dental health.
Recently, there has been an outcry against fluoride-enhanced water, but scientists and dentists continue to support it. They say there is no scientific evidence to support claims that it is unhealthy and plenty of proof that fluoride is healthy for teeth. In fact, the CDC recently ranked the addition of fluoride to water as one of the greatest public health benefits of the 20th century.
If you are concerned about the levels of fluoride in your water, talk to your pediatric dentist in Brooklyn. He or she can help you find out how much fluoride is in your water supply and whether you need to add fluoride supplements to your child’s dental regimen.
Pediatric Dentist in Brooklyn - Dr. Serge Kupetz, D.D.S. has practiced full-time in New York, NY for more than 10 years. With an emphasis in implantology, cosmetic, and laser-related dentistry, he is highly accomplished in the latest techniques for crafting a perfect smile for his patients. A member of the American Dental Association (ADA) and the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA), Dr. Kupetz earned his B.A. and D.D.S from the prestigious New York University College of Dentistry.
Proper Fluoride Levels Can Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy