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All you Need to know About Fluoride & Your Child’s Dental Health

Fluoride refers to naturally occurring mineral salts of element fluorine. Fluoride is essential for preventing tooth decay (cavity formation) and also for proper tooth development.

child-teethFluoride refers to naturally occurring mineral salts of element fluorine. Fluoride is essential for preventing tooth decay (cavity formation) and also for proper tooth development. Major professional bodies of pediatric dentists recommend that drinking water for children should contain 0.7 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride. According to the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fluoridated water is one of the most important health achievements of the previous (20th) century. Had it not been for this fluoridation campaign, incidence of tooth decay in USA would have been much greater.

However, not every child has access to fluoridated water. Fluoride supplements are, therefore often recommended by pediatric dentists to protect against caries (cavities). Fluoride tooth pastes may also be advised. However, caution is important against giving your child too much fluoride. Therefore, it is important to give fluoride supplement only under professional advice.

How Fluoride Helps

The outer layer on the visible part of each tooth is called the enamel. It is the hardest tissue in the human body, but is stable only in a basic environment like that provided by the saliva. It decays very fast in an acidic environment, which may be caused by bacterial decomposition of sugar in the food remnants sticking to the teeth. Acidic drinks and citrus juices can also cause the mouth to become acidic. The presence of fluoride in the teeth prevents the acid attack on the enamel. A deficiency of fluoride will permit decay of the enamel and formation of cavities. Fluoride can even reverse, to a certain degree, the formation of cavities already in process.

Delivering Fluoride to the Teeth

Fluoride from drinking water, normal food, and supplements can be utilized by the developing teeth of children. A tooth which has already erupted, can be strengthened by topical application of fluoride. Fluoride can be topically applied to teeth of your children by the dentist in his office. Use of fluoride tooth pastes is another way of doing it. However, too much fluoridation must be avoided. Children under two years should use only a smear of fluoride tooth paste on their brush each time. Children from 2 to 6 years should use about a pea sized amount of tooth paste.

How Much Is Too Much?

correct-amount-of-toothpaste-thumbTeeth still forming below the gum line can develop a condition called tooth fluorosis. This is indicated by a streaked or mottled appearance of the tooth surfaces. Milder form shows in the form of white spots which may not be readily visible. In very severe, but rare cases, the discoloration can be darker and the surface may have a pitted texture. Fluorosis due to excess fluoride is not really harmful, except being aesthetically undesirable. But deficiency of fluoride can have serious consequences for your child’s dental health and comfort.

The risk for fluorosis ends when most permanent teeth have formed, say by age 9. But before that all foods and supplements for the child must be carefully weighed in terms of the fluoride they can give to your child. The intake of fluoride is simply cumulative. However, the risk of over fluoridation is far overweighed by the risk of harm due to under fluoridation.

If you need further information regarding fluoridation or fluoride supplements, please feel free to visit us at Barnaby Square Dental. We would love to see you at our office.

For more information and free consultation

Please visit us at Burnaby Square Dental, our conveniently located office. Our professional Team will be more than happy to answer all of your questions and provide you with the best services if you choose to proceed.


Burnaby Square Dental

At Burnaby Square Dental, we know every person’s dental needs are unique. That’s why we offer a comprehensive selection of treatment options in a comfortable, convenient atmosphere.

Working Hours

Monday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Sunday closed

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Burnaby Square Dental Website Update

Dear Valued Patients,

We hope you and your family are in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: Our Commitment to Your Safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our patients and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our office follows up-to-date infection control recommendations made by the Canadian Dental Association, British Columbia Dental Association, College of Dental Surgeos of BC and the World Health Organization.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. Including:

-Pre- screening of all patients prior to their appointment and again at the entrance of the office
-Temperature check for patients upon entry of the office
-We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. Please follow the instructions given by the receptionist before seeing our CDA.

Appointments will be managed to allow social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all clinical and administrative staff, including surgical and N95 masks, face shield and gowns.

Daily temperature check for all staff.

Extra time scheduled between patient's appointments to allow thourough cleaning and disinfection of treatment rooms and equipment.

Due to social distancing measurments, we are not able to have our full reception team available, as a result, this may cause longer wait times on phones and we might not be able to confirm the validity of your insurance on your behalf. We recommend all patients confirm there have been no changes to their insurance plans over these uncertain times.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, staff and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office or use appointment request page here

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.


Burnaby Square Dental Team