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Should fluoride treatment be part of dental care for Wichita, KS kids?


Dental Care for Kids provides in Wichita KS area
As a parent, you naturally want the best for your child, including preventive healthcare with minimal risks. That may leave you with questions about the role of fluoride in keeping your child’s mouth healthy. Dr. David Koepsel is passionate about providing dental care that helps kids in the Wichita, KS area enjoy cavity-free smiles. He shares this information to aid parents in making informed decisions about fluoride treatment.

How fluoride protects teeth

Fluoride is naturally present in rainwater, fresh water sources, seawater, soil, and rocks. All forms of vegetation contain fluoride (absorbed from water and soil). Fluoride is also an important component of bones and tooth structure.

Fluorine is a common element of the earth’s crust, and fluoride is the chemical ion of fluorine that carries a negative charge. This allows fluoride to combine with an element that has a positive charge, such as sodium. When these elements bind together, they fortify tooth enamel, making it stronger and resistant to acid attack from oral bacteria – the start of tooth decay. Fluoride can even reverse early tooth decay by repairing tiny holes acids create in enamel.

Communities across the United States started to add fluoride to public water supplies in the 1940s, for cavity prevention, with dramatic and well-documented results. One study in Grand Rapids, MI showed a decline of 56 percent in the rate of dental decay in the first 15 years of fluoridation.

Topical fluoride treatment – safe and effective

If fluoride is in water and produce naturally, and tap water is supplemented, why consider adding topical fluoride treatment to your child’s cavity prevention strategy? Here are five good reasons:
  • Concentrations of fluoride in natural sources are low and vary greatly. There is no good way to determine how much your child is getting daily, and about 50 percent of ingested fluoride goes into bones. Teeth soak up most of their fluoride from saliva.
  • Consumption of fluoridated tap water is declining, as more parents give kids bottled or filtered water.
  • Many toothpastes have added fluoride, but parents must pay close attention to levels – no more than 1,000 parts per million for children aged three and younger; and 1,350 to 1,500 ppm for kids older than three.
  • Brushing with fluoridated toothpaste should be supervised to at least age seven. Why? Toothpaste for children has a wonderful flavor intended to encourage adequate brushing time. However, it is also tempting for the child to swallow it.
  • Too much ingested fluoride can be dangerous for children (and adults), since it bioaccumulates. That’s why toothpaste should be spit out, and fluoride supplements avoided.
Topical fluoride treatment puts the mineral compound directly where it is needed for maximum cavity-fighting effectiveness, in a dosage carefully-controlled by a trained dental team.

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Quick and painless treatment

At East Wichita Dentist, fluoride is usually applied as a varnish for younger children, at a regular checkup appointment. Teeth are cleaned, then examined by the dentist. The hygienist quickly paints the sticky varnish onto chewing surfaces and sides of teeth using a small brush. The compound hardens immediately as it meets saliva, so your child cannot lick or suck it off teeth and swallow it.

The procedure takes only a few minutes and is completely painless. The varnish has a pleasant taste. Teeth may have a dull finish or look yellowish right after treatment, but the effect is temporary. The varnish stays on teeth strengthening enamel for up to 12 hours and is then harmlessly brushed away.

Older children and adults benefit from fluoride treatment, as well. Disposable application trays are filled with a fluoride foam and inserted into the mouth for a few minutes.

Dental care designed for kids in Wichita, KS

Dental Care for Kids provides in Wichita KS area image 2
Fluoride treatment is just one of the ways Dr. Koepsel and his team keep kids smiling. The practice offers dental care tailored to the oral health of small patients, including:
  • Gentle cleanings
  • Laser cavity detection
  • Minimal-radiation digital x-rays
  • Hygiene and nutritional guidance
If your child does get a cavity, you have the option of nitrous oxide sedation for low-stress treatment, and tooth colored restorations that blend with the smile.

The decision of whether to have fluoride treatment is a personal one. Dr. Koepsel is happy to answer your questions and provide information to help you make a good choice. Call East Wichita Dentist at (316) 686-7395 to schedule an appointment for your child.

Dentist Wichita - Dr. David Koepsel
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  • Rating: 5 Dentist Wichita - Five Star reviews
    Dr. David Koepsel

    Such an amazing dental office! The staff is so nice and welcoming. I felt right at home. They used sedation dentistry on me and it took all the fear from me and it didn't even hurt. I have never met a dental office that is so easy to talk to! Love them