Problems and solutions for Ramadan oral health care
7th April 2021
During Ramadan, oral health benefits from special attention. In this article, dentist Aryaan Khalid explains the changes that can occur… read more
We all want our children to have the best – and that includes wanting them to have the healthiest teeth possible. Taking good care of children’s teeth from when they’re very small helps them to have stronger teeth as adults. Which is why fluoride therapy is an important inclusion in children’s preventive dental care.
To help prevent dental caries, your dentist is very likely to prescribe appropriate applications of fluoride varnish for your children’s teeth. SpaDental dentist Lucy Smith shares her expert advice in answer to parent’s questions.
All children need ongoing systematic reviews of their oral health. As no two children have the same dentition, a dentist prepares an individual plan for effective and safe fluoride treatment.
Lucy says: “We risk assess all children at every appointment and determine low, medium or high risk for developing caries. There are many factors to consider, such as diet, oral hygiene, existing signs of caries, enamel defects, history of decay, sibling history of decay, attendance record, medical history, fluoride use and saliva flow.”
At each dental appointment, the dentist will explain the next steps needed to care for your child’s teeth.
Lucy advises parents to consider three areas. “To tackle tooth decay we try to:
- reduce the presence of bacteria, through brushing and oral hygiene advice,
- reduce sugars so that bacteria have nothing to metabolise, through diet advice, and
- strengthen the enamel, through the use of fluoride toothpaste, mouthwashes, and varnishes.”
This means that the dentist will offer advice about oral hygiene and diet that parents need to take responsibility for at home. The dentist will usually schedule six-monthly reviews, including topical fluoride applications as appropriate, adding an extra layer of protection.
Fluoride is important for tooth care because it changes the structure of teeth, making them even stronger and more resistant to acid erosion that weakens tooth enamel.
Lucy explains: “Dental decay forms when oral bacteria metabolise sugar and produce acid. This acid demineralises the tooth structure. The structure of the tooth is made up of hydroxyapatite crystals which are soluble in acid. When we add fluoride, the crystals become fluorapatite (F- ions replace the H+ ions). These fluorapatite crystals are stronger and much more resistant to acid attack. Fluoride also bolsters the natural antibacterial action of saliva and promotes remineralisation of the tooth structure.”
During the last century observation and then evidence based research linked fluoride with a reduction in dental decay. Now recognised as a major health benefit, fluoride redirected the focus of modern dentistry towards preventive care.
These days, the vast majority of toothpastes and mouthwashes we use contain varying amounts of fluoride to prevent tooth decay. About 10% of the population of the UK has mains water with either natural or added fluoride. A dentist will take exposure to fluoride into consideration when prescribing fluoride therapy.
Fluoride varnish is a coating applied directly to all or some teeth. Its use is an effective way to deliver fluoride directly to the tooth surfaces where it can make a difference. It adheres to the surface, and interacts with the enamel, to strengthen it. Although research shows that people who have grown up with fluoridated water have stronger teeth, topical application to the teeth themselves is the most effective treatment.
A dentist or clinician will carefully paint the varnish onto the tooth surfaces. It sticks to the enamel, and gradually hardens. The process only takes a few minutes, and is painless.
Lucy says: “We have a certain amount of fluoride varnish which is safe to use for different age groups. We only apply fluoride to children who are over the age of 3: no more than 0.25ml varnish for a full mouth in children aged 3-6; no more than 0.4ml varnish for a full mouth in children over 6. These amounts are determined because fluoride varnish contains an extremely high concentration of fluoride – 22600ppm!
Children have to avoid eating and drinking for around 45 minutes after we have applied varnish for it to work properly, but it has been shown to reduce caries incidence by 30%.”
In some cases, the dentist places fluoride varnish on a particular area if a child has one tooth affected by an enamel formation problem. At each dental appointment, the dentist will review the need for fluoride varnish.
Consuming too much fluoride while the teeth form can cause discolouration (dental fluorosis). Therefore:
Moreover, some children may have fluoride applied to their teeth by a health professional in school. If this happens, the school will inform parents and offer advice for after care too. It is important that you inform the child’s own dentist of this intervention.
Lucy explains: “A lot of children are now coming in and parents are reporting that they are having fluoride varnish placed six monthly in school – presumably by a school nurse, visiting dentist, or dental therapist. This is a really good initiative, but we do now have to be bit careful that we don’t apply it as well and therefore give them more than they should be getting! Emphasis also needs to be on the importance of still attending regular dentist appointments as disease is not diagnosed or treated in schools. Fluoride varnish is a preventive measure and can slow progression of disease, but doesn’t cure it!
It is important that children use toothpaste with the correct age-appropriate concentration of fluoride. On the tube, notice the stated concentration measured in ppm, which means parts per million, and indicates a very diluted active ingredient.
For children with a low risk of developing caries:
Young people at a higher risk of developing caries:
SpaDental Whitchurch dentist is accepting new private patients. A new patient testimonial After the closure of my local dentist in Whitchurch I telephoned Spa Dental who made me an appointment. Unfortunately I had an abscess on my tooth before my appointment date, for which I was given an emergency appointment. I am a very nervous patient and it took a long time to build confidence with my old dentist , therefore my nerves were bad and I…More Testimonials
Kind words from our patients mean a lot to us. Thank you! We're very happy to read reviews that commend the Plymouth team and the dentists "excellent care" and "professional service". Recent patient reviews commend our excellent care: "In safe and caring hands - Without exception the treatment I have received has been outstanding. From the reception staff through each of the individuals involved, their focus is on you and you're fully involved in any…More Testimonials
We very much enjoyed reading the lovely Saltash patient reviews we've received in response to our recent request for feedback. On behalf of all the staff, thank you so much for your lovely comments. We sincerely appreciate your kind words, and will also use your recommendations in our planning. SpaDental considers your review comments carefully. We read them all, and use the information we gather to guide our practice so we can keep on improving…More Testimonials
A very appreciative thank you to our patients from the clinicians and staff at SpaDental Chard. It has been a pleasure reading your comments because if our patients are happy, then we're happy. Feedback about the team and treatment from SpaDental Chard reviews "Everyone in the practice is efficient, professional and knowledgeable." - HCG "5 Star Dental Care - Being in the centre of Chard, [the SpaDental] surgery is easily accessible for most patients. The…More Testimonials
SpaDental Plymouth sincerely thanks everyone who responds to our request to review the practice. We love reading all your positive comments. That said, we also take on board the suggestions you make. Because we take Plymouth patient reviews seriously, we read them carefully to see if anyone is less than satisfied with their experience and we use that information to guide our practice. Our review rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) highlights Plymouth patient…More Testimonials
This last week we asked our patients who have visited the practice in the last few months to submit their comments online. We truly appreciate your kind comments. Thank you from all of us for your lovely reviews. Read about our new treatment for patients who have breathing difficulties while they're sleeping. Your opinion is important. Amongst other questions, we ask patients whether or not they would recommend the surgery to their family and friends.…More Testimonials
A glowing testimonial for Dental Surgeon - veneers SpaDental Whitchurch Shropshire. Veneers SpaDental Whitchurch Shropshire "Excellent treatment! Absolutely delighted! Dr Jindal replaced two veneers for me, providing throughout brilliant treatment. He advised me of the options for the veneers and I opted for the better quality ones. The whole process was methodical and precise, keeping me informed step by step during the whole procedure. Great attention to detail was given to myself and the implants…More Testimonials
Dental Surgeon and her assistant are helping anxious patients to manage dental visits more easily. High praise for the team! We know that it can be hard for people to come in to see the dentist. Here's one message: "I just wanted to say a huge thank you for your care at my recent dental visit. Lucy, I know because of your care and attention to my needs I feel so much better attending an…More Testimonials
We really appreciate all the reviews we're getting from patients who visit SpaDental Plymouth. Your feedback helps us feel confident we give good advice and offer a great dental service to Plymouth patients. Thank you! Here are some recent reviews: These two reviews highlight the importance of regular examination of the soft tissues in the mouth. "I feel... grateful to [my dentist] for referring me to Derriford hospital for a lump to be removed from…More Testimonials
At SpaDental Ledbury we're enjoying reading your reviews! In April, we asked you to share your experiences with us. We've been emailing our patients to ask you to fill in on-line forms so that we know how your appointments went. It's been heart-warming to read the kind things that you've said about us in your reviews. Thank you! Here are a few of the comments that we've received: "Very professional. Always polite and helpful. Easy…More Testimonials
During the current restrictions we're here to help you receive the face-to-face care you need from your dental team.
Access our free remote advice and triage service:
Private patient charges:
Patients booking new appointments will be charged at the new April rates, which are currently being updated on our website. The good news is that for new patient plans there is no longer a coronavirus surcharge on top of the treatment fees:)
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Patients often ask: