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Parents - Kids Dental
Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and protects against decay.

In Australia, all capital cities have optimal amounts of fluoride added to tap water. Some areas of the country have naturally occurring fluoride in the water, and in those places extra fluoride is not added. It is important to note that bottled water usually does not contain enough fluoride to offer protection against tooth decay. Some home water filters also remove fluoride from tap water.

If you live in an area that doesn’t have any fluoride in the water, especially where only rainwater or tank water is available, then it is important to speak with your dentist about other fluoride options to maintain the health of your child’s teeth. Your dentist may recommend other fluoride products or they may apply topical fluoride to your child’s teeth, which has been proven to help prevent tooth decay.

Use toothpaste with a fluoride content that is appropriate for a child – there are low fluoride toothpastes available specifically for children. Too much fluoride during tooth development can cause mild white flecking or mottling of permanent teeth (“enamel fluorosis”). A young child who regularly swallows adult-strength fluoride toothpaste instead of spitting it out may develop enamel fluorosis. To prevent dental fluorosis:

  • Choose a low-fluoride toothpaste for children younger than six years.
  • Apply a pea-sized amount to the toothbrush and smear it into the bristles.
  • Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
  • Store all toothpastes out of your child’s reach. Some small children love the taste of toothpaste and will eat it if given the chance.
  • If your child’s permanent teeth have erupted mottled, your dentist can suggest treatment to improve their appearance.
In This Section

How to Brush

The right technique makes all
the difference

How to Floss

Flossing is easy when you know the basics

Tongue Cleaning

Cleaning the ‘other’ 50% of
oral bacteria

Tooth Friendly Foods

Even some health foods can cause decay

Tooth Friendly Drinks

Which cause decay and which cause erosion

Fluoride

The facts about how it works and why it is important

Dental First Aid

Dealing with accidents and emergencies

Dental Check-ups

Prevention is always better
than cure

Resources