Fluoride in Drinking Water: Addressing the Concerns

There has been a widespread public health initiative to add fluoride in small amounts to drinking water. You may recognize the name as the mouthwash or foam that dentists use on your teeth near the end of the cleaning procedure. It is a naturally occurring mineral (found in many natural water sources) that is absorbed by your teeth’s enamel and strengthens it, reducing tooth decay. This initiative has saved cities tens of millions in dental fees.

Water fluoridation has been done in various places worldwide (including Canada) since the early 20th century and has grown in usage over the decades. This has led to a huge reduction in cavities in these places. Children with no other sources of fluoride see a cavity reduction of 35% in their baby teeth when their water is treated with it. Permanent teeth have a reduction of around 13-20%.

Although long considered a safe and effective program, health concerns have lingered about it, and opposition to water fluoridation programs has spiked in recent years. Some places have reduced or eliminated these programs because of this. We would like to look at the top three concerns about water fluoridation and help our community understand the truth of the matter.

Concern 1: Fluoride absorbs toxins from the environment

Rumours and anecdotal evidence have suggested that fluoridated water is better at absorbing harmful elements from the environment. Lead and arsenic are the most commonly quoted ones. Thankfully, no scientific study has shown that either of these chemicals are present in this water above safe levels. In the case of lead, studies comparing levels of lead in children with access to fluoridated water vs non-fluoridated water couldn’t find a difference once other factors were accounted for.

Concern 2: Fluoride intake causes skeletal weakness

Skeletal fluorosis is a condition that cause bones to become harder and thicker, making them fracture more easily. It happens when there is a large concentration of fluoride in the body. This is why you spit your fluoride rinse out when you are at the dentist; such a large concentration can be harmful to swallow. Most opponents of water fluoridation list this disease as their main concern; there is no benefit to swallowing fluoride and drinking too much is what causes it.

Thankfully, the dental benefits of fluoride occur with very small doses. The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 1.5 parts per million (ppm) as the safe quantity in drinking water, and that guideline is strictly followed in most of the world. At this level, skeletal fluorosis won’t occur, and dental fluorosis (the appearance of harmless white streaks on the teeth) will be unnoticeable without dental tools.

Concern 3: We get enough fluoride from toothpaste and other products

This argument has gained some ground in recent years, because there is sometimes truth to it. Toothpaste and mouthwashes usually contain some amount of fluoride. Some people who practice good oral hygiene worry that they may suffer more noticeable dental fluorosis in communities with treated water. This has led to many of them reducing the fluoride in their water to the minimum recommended level of 0.7ppm, which has become the norm in Canada.

While this isn’t the optimal level of protection, it is a good balance. It still greatly reduces the occurrence of cavities and also minimizes the risk of dental fluorosis in young children, who are more vulnerable to it. There have been no documented cases of skeletal fluorosis or other disease caused by tap water with 0.7ppm

Dental Cleaning at Kensington Dental Clinic

Fluoridated water prevents the development of some cavities, but regular cleaning at the dentist is needed to remove tartar and provide a more thorough fluoride supplement. Kensington Dental Clinic is happy to provide Edmontonians with professional check-ups and cleanings in a relaxed atmosphere. We follow the Alberta Dental Fee Guide and don’t overcharge you for any treatments. If you’re due for a cleaning, call now or contact us using the information below!

How to Make Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment a Pleasant Experience

It is no secret that visiting the dentist can be nerve-wracking for children, especially after a series of bad experiences. This is why the first visit, in particular, is the most crucial as it can determine how your child is going to feel about dentists in general. As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to make sure that your child will leave the dental office with a positive experience. This article will tell you what you can do to ease your child’s anxiety before going to their first dentist appointment, to make their first dental visit a pleasant one.

Tips to Calm Your Child’s Nerves When Going to the Dentist

Before taking your kid to the dentist office, you have to tell your child about the visits without giving it all away. Here are some tips on what to tell and what not to tell your child:

  • If they ask specific questions, give them straightforward answers. Refrain from trying to answer more complicated or detailed questions that you may not necessarily understand yourself. Leave these questions for the dentist to answer as they are experienced with explaining things to children in simple terms and in a non-threatening way.
  • Do not add on to your child’s stress by telling them that it is going to hurt.
  • Avoid talking about your own negative dental experience that you have had.
  • Let your child know how crucial it is to keep their teeth healthy with the proper oral health care. Also, assure them that the pediatric dentist is a friendly doctor who knows exactly what they are doing.
  • Do not promise your child a reward for going to the dentist.

Remember, it is natural for children and young persons to get anxious and fearful when going to the dental office. Some young children find it extremely stressful when being separated from their parents, while others may be frightened of the unknown or pain. A good dentist who deals with fearful kids every day will know how to handle your child’s anxiety and ease their fears.

Techniques That Dentists Use to Calm Children’s Nerves

Children express their fears in different ways. Some may lash out while others may burst into tears. There are many different techniques that dentists often use to calm children, including the following techniques:

  • Explanation and Demonstration

With a friendly tone, the dentist will explain a procedure to the child in simple words. They may also demonstrate the procedure on a doll or a person so that the child will know what to expect. If the child refuses to cooperate, the dentist may use a firmer voice.

  • Positive Reinforcement

The dentist will give the child praises and compliments as a reward for good behavior.

  • Diversion of Attention

To take the child’s attention away from the procedure, the dentist will tell them stories or try to engage them in conversations.

  • Body Language

The dentist will also use body language to encourage good behavior and discourage negative behavior. For example, a smile will encourage cooperation while a frown will discourage a tantrum.

  • Sedatives

In some cases, the use of sedation may be necessary to help calm the child. Two common types of sedation used in children are nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” and an oral sedative such as Valium.

When to Book Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

Your child’s baby teeth matter and it is important to bring your child in for regular dental visits to make sure they have good dental health, from the moment their first teeth come in. You can book your child’s first dentist appointment when they are 12 months of age, or six months after their first tooth comes in.

If you’re looking for a family dental clinic in Edmonton, Alberta, Kensington Dental Clinic is your best option. We offer dental care to patients of all ages, from children to seniors, so we can provide dental services to all members of your family.

Child Dentistry: All You Need to Know

Pediatric dentistry is highly critical, as the condition of your child’s dental health will lay a foundation for their healthy smiles and their well-being going forward. Therefore, it’s essential that you take your child to see a dentist by the age of one or when their first tooth starts to emerge from their gums.

What happens at the first dental visit?

During the first visit at the children dentistry office, the dentist will ask questions about your baby’s health and their birth. The first dental visit usually involves little-to-no treatment at all. Instead, the dentist will focus on examining the dental and oral health of the child. The parents are allowed to be in the examination room to keep their child calm and relaxed.

Each dentist has their own tricks to keep their patients calm throughout the overall process of dental care, which is an integral part of a dentist’s job. This is particularly important for babies as they aren’t yet capable of understanding what is being done to them. Many babies kick, scream, and cry during the process. This can put your little one at risk, so it’s vital that the parents and dentist work together to ensure a smooth and safe process with their infants, children, and babies.

Once the examination is complete, the dentist will inform the parents of any special health care concerns they should be aware of and how to take care of the problem. For example, they may suggest what you can do to prevent cavities, how to supply your child with sufficient fluoride, and how to get rid of harmful oral habits such as thumb sucking and harsh lip sucking. The dentist may also recommend the best time to schedule the next visit.

How often should a child visit the dentist?

Ideally, everyone should schedule an appointment with their dentist every six months for proper preventative dental care. That being said, your child may benefit from having more frequent visits at first. It’s crucial that you take your child to see the dentist as early as possible so that they can acclimate to the atmosphere in the dental office as soon as possible. You should provide the dentist with all the medical information necessary to ensure that your baby gets the best oral care possible.

When can a child receive an X-ray exam?

X-ray technology has advanced significantly over the past decade, so the risk of radiation exposure is minuscule to non-existent with the tools we have today. Therefore, there’s no hard limit as to when a child can get an x-ray examination. Typically, a child will get their first x-ray at around the age of five or six, as that is when their first permanent teeth are starting to come through. An x-ray examination will allow the dentist to see the development of your child’s teeth. This makes it possible for them to suggest the best orthodontics or dental treatment that can guarantee a healthy set of teeth for your child.

Searching for a new child dentistry office experienced in treating children? If you’re looking for a professional dental clinic in Edmonton, Alberta, Kensington Dental Clinic is your best option for quality dental care. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

What You Can Do for Your Child to Prevent Cavities and Tooth Decay

As a parent, you want to make sure that your child is safe from cavities, tooth decay, and other oral problems. If you are prone to develop oral problems, such as cavities or gum disease, then your children have a higher risk of developing oral problems as well. Therefore, you need to do everything in your power to ensure that your child’s oral hygiene is optimal.

It is highly recommended that you start taking care of your children’s teeth early on. In fact, as soon as your child’s first teeth appear, you should start cleaning them right away. And as soon as your kid’s first tooth appears, between 12 and 36 months, you should bring your kid to the dentist for their first teeth cleaning.

Apart from making sure that your child is brushing their teeth at least twice per day, there are other things that you can do as well. Here are some of the best tips that every pediatric dentist recommends:

Restrict Sugar Intake

In addition to good oral care, you also need to pay close attention to your child’s diet as well to make sure what they are eating or drinking isn’t too sugary. It is common knowledge that sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay, but did you know that starchy foods (such as crackers or chips) also contain sugar and can cause damage to the teeth. There is nothing that children love more than sweets, which is why it is almost impossible to remove all sugars and starches from your child’s diet.

Even milk contains sugar that can lead to tooth decay. That being said, you can still cut back the amount of sugar that your child consumes on a daily basis. The most important thing to remember is that you should never give your child sugary snacks or drinks just because they won’t stop crying. Instead, give them just enough to satisfy their cravings, not every time that they ask for a treat.

Arrange Dentist Appointments

Schedule regular dentist appointments for your child. Take your child to see the dentist every six months. The dentist will clean your child’s teeth thoroughly and fill any cavities that start to show to avoid more serious problems in the future. While at your children’s dental appointment you can ask about dental sealants and fluoride varnish, especially if you live in an area without fluoridated drinking water.

Beware of Tooth Decay

Everyone is aware that tooth decay should be avoided, but many people still don’t see it as being a big problem and may not take the necessary steps to prevent tooth decay. The fact is that tooth decay is extremely prevalent among children between the ages of two and eleven.

As a matter of fact, almost half of the kids in the country have cavities. If this trend continues, there could be an epidemic in the future. Thus, it is imperative that you take every possible measure to make sure that your kid is safe from tooth decay. You can start by taking them to see a dentist before the first signs of tooth decay even appears.

In Conclusion

Tooth decay is primarily caused by two things: diet and hygiene. Therefore, you need to make sure that your child’s diet does not involve too many sugary foods and drinks. Also, you should encourage your child to take care of their oral health by brushing their teeth twice a day to get rid of all the plaque caused by their diet. When your children brush their teeth, it is important that the toothbrush reaches all chewing surfaces of the teeth as well as their tongue to properly clean all areas of the mouth. Otherwise, there is a high risk that your child will get cavities as well as other oral problems.

The best thing that you can do for your child is to schedule an appointment with a dentist. This is so that your child’s oral health can be taken care of by an expert. Also, regular dental checkups ensures that any teeth or gum problems that your child has can be fixed before they can lead to something more serious.

If you’re looking for a professional dental clinic in Edmonton, Alberta that provides Child Dentistry, Kensington Dental Clinic; is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

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