The Importance of Fluoride for Children

February 20, 2023
3 min read


Robert S. Huffard, MD


The Importance of Fluoride for Children 

At Mount Nittany Health Pediatrics, we understand the importance of providing children with the best possible care and prevention for dental health. A crucial component of this is fluoride, one of the most powerful tools to prevent tooth decay. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends fluoride supplements for all children up to age 16 who do not have it in their water supply.


What is Fluoride? 

Fluoride is a mineral that helps teeth become stronger and more resistant to cavities and decay. It does this by changing the structure of teeth at a molecular level, making them better able to withstand acid attacks from plaque bacteria in the mouth. Fluoride also helps repair weakened enamel, an essential part of maintaining good dental health for children and adults. 


Why Is Fluoride Important for Children? 

Fluoride can often make the difference between having healthy teeth or severely decaying ones. Children are particularly vulnerable to tooth decay because their teeth are still forming and growing, making them weaker and more prone to cavities than adult teeth. To fight tooth decay in children, it's essential they receive adequate amounts of fluoride during their formative years – typically between the ages of six months to eighteen years old. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children receive a professional topical application (fluoride varnish) every three to six months, beginning at age three. Children should also be given appropriate concentrations of fluoride-containing products such as fluoridated water, toothpaste, or prescription products as recommended by pediatricians or dentists by age two or three. 


How Does Mount Nittany Health Provide Fluoride Treatment?

Mount Nittany Health Pediatrics offers prescription fluoride to help protect children's teeth. Fluoride prescriptions are available as liquid, chewable, or non-chewable, based on the age and capacity of the patient. Our experienced medical staff will advise on which type would be best suited for your child based on their needs. 

It’s important for children's overall dental health to get enough fluoride protection throughout childhood to grow up with strong, healthy smiles! It's also essential that parents help ensure their children get enough fluoride protection over time. Regular visits with our pediatrics team can identify potential issues and address them early. Our team will always take extra measures, such as talking parents through proper brushing techniques and discussing strategies for preventing cavities through diet and lifestyle changes, if needed.

Mount Nittany Health Pediatrics has two convenient locations in State College and Bellefonte. For more information, visit, or call 814.355.3626 to schedule an appointment.

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