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Do you have a child that hasn’t lost any baby teeth yet? If so you may be wonder if you should be concerned. Most children will begin to lose their baby teeth around six years of age but can start as early as five and as late as seven. However, there are some complications that can occur in a child that loses their teeth late. Smile Reef would like to share some development issues with those who lose their teeth late, what signs to watch for, and why or when you should seek out professional help.

When Do Permanent Teeth Come In?

All parents should be concerned for their child’s oral health. Kids will begin to lose their baby teeth as early as five and as late as seven, which is normal and you needn’t be concerned. However, if by age eight and the child have never lost any baby teeth, there could be a problem. It is recommended if the child hasn’t lost any baby teeth by the age of seven, you begin seeking help from an orthodontist and begin monitoring your child’s oral development. By the age of eight most kids should have lost up to eight teeth: the front four on top and bottom. However, when the teeth or jaw bone isn’t developing correctly, it can cause delays. With proper development by ten years of age the rest of the baby teeth will begin to fall out, and by age 12, the second molars will start to come in. By sixteen the wisdom teeth are usually due to begin coming out which is why it is important to begin monitoring their development. Wisdom teeth are usually removed before the roots are fully developed.

Permanent Teeth Eruption Problems

When baby teeth fall out late it can be due to a number of problems. One is crowding. The permanent teeth need enough room to come down. Sometimes the permanent teeth can’t push out because of the overlaying baby teeth. Sometimes, rarely, the permanent teeth never develop at all and there aren’t any teeth to push the baby teeth out. In most cases it may only be one of the permanent teeth that never developed. Improper development of permanent teeth can block other teeth, preventing proper eruption of the other teeth which can cause delays.

Dental X Ray Procedure

Often to detect problems associated with delays when losing baby teeth, it requires x-rays to be taken. The x-rays can show if the teeth are dropping correctly or if there are problems with crowding, missing permanent teeth, or improper development such as crooked teeth. If your child is seven years of age and still hasn’t lost any baby teeth yet it is strongly recommended to begin monitoring your child’s teeth. Consider having your child’s oral development monitored by an orthodontist. There are a number of ways where teeth can be corrected during development to help ensure your child’s oral health. Improper development has many consequences such as problems chewing food, tooth pain, and too early tooth decay.

Pediatric Dentistry

If you have a child that hasn’t lost any baby teeth and they are between the ages of six and seven years of age, consider seeking professional help. Smile Reef can help monitor your child’s oral development and help provide your child with the care they need. Contact Smile Reef and make an appointment today.

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One of the most widespread diseases among children today is tooth decay. Many people do not consider tooth decay when they are thinking about diseases but it is indeed a disease. Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard, outer layer of your teeth. Tooth decay is five times more common than asthma, four times more common than childhood obesity, and 20 times more common than childhood diabetes. The good news about tooth decay is that it is almost entirely preventable! Today here at Smile Reef we want to give you some information about tooth decay and how to prevent it.

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

One large source of tooth decay in children comes from the baby bottle. Baby bottles are used to feed infants who cannot eat solid food yet. They are a fabulous tool for parents to be able to use with their babies. Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when the sugar from milk, formula, or fruit juice cling to an infant’s teeth for long periods of time. Bacteria in the mouth will thrive on this sugar and turn it into acids that will attack the child’s teeth. Another frequent cause of baby bottle tooth decay is when parents or caregivers lay a baby down to sleep at nighttime or naptime with a bottle that has anything except water in it. It is extremely common for parents to lay their sweet baby down for a nap with a bottle of milk. As the baby gets older many times the bottle of milk will turn into a sippy cup of juice. As the baby is sleeping the sugar from the milk or juice sits on their teeth and decay starts to form. You should not send your baby or toddler to bed with a bottle or sippy cup full of anything but water.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Both pacifiers and bottles can increase the risk of baby bottle tooth decay. Many people dip pacifiers into sugar or syrup to help calm their baby down. This sugar sits in the babies’ mouth and eventually causes decay. Sugar and syrup should not be used on pacifiers. In addition to monitoring the type of liquids that you are giving your baby and toddler you also need to start cleaning their gums after each feeding. You can simply wipe their gums with a clean wash cloth that has been dampened with cool water. Once your child starts to develop teeth you will want to start brushing their teeth and gums. You will want to use a children’s toothbrush that has nice soft bristles. You only need a very small amount of toothpaste. You can also help prevent bottle tooth decay by limiting sugary drinks and foods for your baby and toddler. Repeated or prolonged exposure to sugary foods and drinks can lead to tooth decay. You will want to feed your child a healthy diet with low sugar to help keep their teeth nice and clean.

Pediatric Dentistry

Introducing your child to the dentist at an early age is also an excellent idea. Smile Reef encourages parents to bring their children in to the dentist when their first tooth comes in. Then you should continue checkups and cleaning every six months just like you do for yourself. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment!

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As a parent you want the best for your child. Most people will spend time looking at the review on the best car seat, soap, foods and more. This is so that the kids are able to get the most out of their most important stage in life. As a child is growing it is important to ensure they receive the proper care and nutrients for their body to keep up with a steady growth pattern. Another thing you want to make sure is well taken care of is the health and strength of your child’s teeth. This includes proper oral care that includes brushing, flossing and of course a regular visit to the dentist. You want to also make sure that you give your child the vitamins and minerals that are needed to encourage strong and healthy teeth.

Smile Reef Lists the Best Vitamins for Toddler’s & Older Children’s Teeth & Oral Health

Vitamin C Repairs Gums: When you are caring for your oral health it means more than just caring for your teeth. You also need to make sure that you are caring for your gums, tongue and all the interior of your mouth. The gums are just as important to your oral health as your teeth. One of the best things that you can do for the health of your gums is to make sure that your child has enough vitamin C. The vitamin will work to heal your gums quicker when there is a problem or an injury. It also is great for inflammation that often occurs to your gums. The other benefit that you get from getting more vitamin C is that your body is able to create collagen. This is what is needed to expedite cell repair and is an added benefit to the rest of your body as well.
Vitamin A for Dry Mouth: One of the most important aspects of your mouth is to keep the saliva flowing in the mouth. When your mouth is dry and you do not have a proper amount of saliva your teeth are not able to be cleaned off. That is why you want to make sure that you give your child enough vitamin A. This is what will help to create the saliva that is needed. The saliva will wash off the acid and other materials off the teeth and the gums. This is what will prevent the bacteria and other infections from setting in.
Vitamin D for Teeth: Most people realize that they need to have enough vitamin D in their diet to create healthy strong bones. This same vitamin is part of what is needed to make your teeth strong as well. Your intestines will absorb the vitamin D and that will create what is needed to strengthen the enamel and the teeth. The stronger they are the harder it is for cavities to set in.

Pediatric Dental Care

Smile Reef can make sure that you are on the right path to keeping your children’s teeth clean and well cared for. Call us today to make your next appointment today!

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Facial structures have evolved over time. This includes our jaws, mouth and airways. This is evident with wisdom teeth removals, tonsillectomies and adenoid removals. Did your grandparents or their parents need these procedures? Probably not. For the most part, our jaws just aren’t developing to fit all 32 human teeth. This may be caused by rubber nipples, sippy cups, baby food and allergies to food that can lead to breathing issues. These can all cause faces to develop differently, causing them to be less full and less symmetrical, with weaker profiles and receding chins. Is it possible then that pacifiers cause teeth problems?

Pacifiers & Crooked Teeth

Parents don’t really think about the shifts in facial development of their children. Good oral development happens when early sucking habits are stopped, good feeding and swallowing habits are established, strong chewing skills are developed and ensuring your child breathes through their nose. Pacifiers can become a problem when they affect the shape of the jaw as it develops. Pacifiers are beneficial to newborn babies because they have a strong urge to suckle. They are also helpful for babies that are having a hard time latching to breastfeed by developing oral muscles. Pacifiers have also been found to reduce the risk of SIDS. Problems linked to pacifiers depend on how long a child uses one. Dental development is affected when children use one for longer than 6 months. Using one for longer than six months also turns it into a source of comfort, which is not what is in intended for.

Pacifier Suckling vs. Sucking

Suckling is a reflex where the tongue moves front to back. The tongue is cupped to allow the baby to get more milk when they breastfeed. After two to six months, this reflex turns into a sucking movement. Sucking movement is actively controlled by the baby, with more of an up and down movement of the tongue. The best way for baby to transition from suckling to sucking is breastfeeding. It’s also the best way to prevent the constant need to use a pacifier.

Best Age for Taking Pacifier Away

The ideal time to take a pacifier away is when baby starts cooing and babbling. This usually happens at about five months of age. Cooing and babbling are indications that baby has control over their tongue and mouth and they have moved from suckling to sucking. This is also when your baby has started to teeth and you can swap out pacifiers for teething rings and other items that will soothe them.

Teeth Damage & Dental Problems Associated with Pacifier Use

If your child uses a pacifier past the age of two, there’s a higher chance of improper dental development, such as:
• Anterior open bite, where the front teeth do not come together
• Posterior crossbite, where the front teeth are in overbite, but the molars don’t fit in a side to side relation
• Narrow inter-molar width, which is the distance from molar to molar

Pediatric Dentistry

Stopping pacifier use at an early age can prevent dental issues. Are you concerned about your child’s teeth? Contact Smile Reef today to set up a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Here at Smile Reef we frequently take care of the dental needs for siblings. It is not uncommon for one sibling to have more cavities than the other children on a routine basis. We will have parents ask us frequently why some of their children get more cavities than their other children. Smile Reef wants to explore some of the reasons for this today. We hope that you find the information below useful.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Many people assume that you get more cavities if you are not brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. Brushing and flossing definitely will help reduce the number of cavities that you get but they will not eliminate them all together. We have many patients that brush and floss just like they should every day and they will still get cavities. Some people are just more susceptible to cavities for a variety of reasons.
Sugary Foods & Drinks Cause Tooth Decay – The largest culprit for cavities is your diet. What you are putting into your body definitely impacts your oral health. When you eat or drink sugary foods or drinks the sugar sits in your mouth on your teeth and along your gum line. The sugar draws bacteria to it. Bacteria can erode your tooth enamel. Your teeth need strong enamel because that is what helps protect your teeth from decay. If your teeth get decayed you will get cavities. Simply cutting down on sodas, juices, sweets, and carbohydrates can help you have less cavities. We recommend that you replace those foods with delicious fruits and vegetables. Instead of drinking soda water is a significantly better choice for your oral hygiene. Many people choose to brush their teeth after eating lots of sugary foods.
Bacteria Causes Dental Caries – Cavities are formed when bacteria eats away at your teeth. The bacteria quantity in each person is unique. Some people have more bacteria in their mouth than others. The more bacteria you have in your mouth the more likely you are to develop cavities. Regular brushing and flossing will help combat aggressive bacteria in your mouth.
Dry Mouth Can Cause Cavities – Another cause of cavities is not having enough saliva in your mouth or having frequent dry mouth. Saliva serves many purposes in our bodies. Saliva helps you digest food and keep your mouth moist. The properties of saliva counteract the bacteria that cause cavities in your mouth. If you have frequent dry mouth try rinsing with mouth wash every day to enhance the enamel on your teeth. You will also want to drink plenty of water every day. If you still have dry mouth on a regular basis contact your doctor.
Cavity Prone Teeth Shapes – Sometimes your tooth shape makes you more susceptible to cavities than other people. If you naturally have more spaces in between your teeth food particles, sugars, and bacteria can easily catch in the spaces between your teeth and create a cavity. Some people have deep grooves on their teeth. These deep grooves also make you more susceptible to cavities. You will want to consider brushing teeth more frequently if you have this problem.

Pediatric Dentistry

Smile Reef hopes this helped you understand why some of your kids get cavities more frequently than others. You can help them by encouraging them to eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, floss daily, and brush twice a day. Even if they do all of this they may still get cavities but at that point you can rest assured that you are doing everything you can do. Contact Smile Reef to schedule an appointment today!

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Special needs children often have to be sedated or require anesthesia to get their dental work done efficiently. When your child’s appointment approaches, it is natural for parents to become uneasy. There are many questions that come to mind and wanting to know what to expect when your child undergoes the anesthesia. How it is administered, how the child will experience the process, and how you should prepare for the procedure and take care of the child afterwards often top the list. There are many circumstances when anesthesia is utilized to help your child get the dental work they need to maintain healthy oral care. Today we at Smile Reef would like to elaborate on the use of the anesthesia.

Pediatric Dental Sedation Guidelines

Pediatric dentists that routinely care for children, especially those with special needs, often have an Anesthesiologist they use and trust to help them achieve their dental procedures. To help the child feel drowsy, the general anesthesiologist will give the child some oral medication first. From there, the child is put completely to sleep when the anesthesiologist starts an IV and administers the right dosage of drugs. While the pediatric dentist provides all necessary treatment, the anesthesiologist monitors the child’s breathing and vital signs once the child is completely asleep. The biggest advantage to the anesthesia is that they are sleeping throughout the dental procedures and they will not have any traumatizing association to getting dental work. In many instances the medications used will help the child forget about the whole event during the dental experience. All treatment, including x-rays, fillings, crowns, and cleanings can be done more efficiently while the child is asleep and immobile which helps the experience go by smoothly without the traumatic and seemingly scary activities going on around the child to be affected.

Preparing Your Child for Anesthesia

Generally, the dentists that suggest the help of an anesthesiologist will schedule the procedure coherent with both of their schedules. Instructions are frequently given to the parents on how to prepare the night before the procedure. A medical history and pertinent information is often asked prior to the appointment so that the right choice of anesthetic medicines is used to better fit the individual child’s needs. Typically, you will be instructed on what your child can eat or drink before the procedure. Usually, they are not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight. However, specific instructions based on your child’s age, medical condition, and the time of day of the procedure will be given. Eating is not allowed because of the effects anesthesia medicines have. The body normally has reflexes that prevent food from being aspirated, or inhaled, into the lungs when it’s swallowed or regurgitated, or thrown up. The medicines can suspend these reflexes, which could cause food to become inhaled into the lungs if there is vomiting or regurgitation under anesthesia. In some cases, clear liquids may be permitted, or specific medications may be given a few prior to the appointment. Answer the anesthesiologist’s questions as honestly and thoroughly as possible to ensure the child’s safety. What you may think is harmless can have poor interactions with the anesthesia.

Pediatric Dentistry

If you have any questions regarding the anesthesia, you have ample opportunity to consult the anesthesiologist. If you feel your child may batter benefit from being sedated for their dental procedure, make an appointment with Smile Reef today to discuss your child’s needs.

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Thousands of people are afraid of going to the dentist. It is estimated that 5-8% of Americans avoid the dentist entirely because of this fear. Another 20% will go to the dentist only if they absolutely need dental treatment. At Smile Reef we want to make sure that your children do not develop a fear of the dentist. Many times the best way to help children not be afraid of the dentist is to help their parents overcome their fear of the dentist. So today we are going to help you start to consider how you can get over any fear that you may have.

Why are People Scared to Go to the Dentist?

There are multiple different reasons that people are afraid of the dentist. Some people hate the feeling of losing control. They feel like being in the dentist chair with people looking inside their mouths takes their control away. Not wanting to experience pain can also be another reason that people do not want to go to the dentist. Many people are embarrassed to go to the dentist because they do not want the dentist to see their mouth. They feel like their teeth are not perfect and they do not want anyone to see them up close. One of the largest reasons that people are afraid to go to the dentist is because of past experiences that were bad. If people have had dentist appointments in the past where they have had extreme pain or complications they can develop a fear of going back. So if you have a fear of going to the dentist how do you go about getting over it? We have some tips for you to consider trying to help you get yourself back to the dentist on a regular basis.

Recognize & Identify Your Fears

Become you can overcome any fear you have to be able to identify what the emotion is. Think about the reasons above for why people may have developed a fear of the dentist. Do any of those ring true for you? If not you may have another reason for not wanting to go to the dentist. Some other common reasons are a fear or needles or a fear of the drill. Knowing what exact fear can help you try and overcome and it can help the dentist know how you to help deal with it.

Choose the Right Dentist

Just like every human is different, so is every dentist. You will want to choose a dentist who can listen to your fears and help you overcome them. If you do not feel like your dentist can help you with this, try a different dentist. At Smile Reef we believe that most kids benefit from seeing a pediatric dentist. Family dentists are amazing but they do not always see many children and sometime they do not know how to deal with them.

Bring a Friend to the Dentist

Having a fear of the dentist can be overwhelming. You may want to consider bringing someone you feel extremely comfortable with you to your appointment. Having someone you feel comfortable with at your appointment can help you overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed. You will want to make sure that your friend that you bring is not afraid of the dentist themselves.

Pediatric Dentistry in Las Vegas, Nevada

Having something else to think about while you are in the dentist chair can help you forget about your fear of the dentist. You may want to consider listening to music, playing with a stress ball, or counting in your head. We hope that these tips will help you overcome your fear of the dentist. As you know our children learn from our example more than our words. If they can see you going to the dentist regularly they will not be as anxious about it themselves.

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Wearing cute costumes and enjoying the fun event, coming in pail after pail of sweets; your little monster is sure to revel in the Halloween experience. But with the candy, gum, chips, cupcakes, and other junk food that comes with the Halloween parties, trick-or-treating and other Halloween events, the exposure to sugar can give you a toothache just thinking about it. Before you abolish all of the treats, or concede and except your fate, you should keep in mind not all candy is created the same. There are treats less damaging to your kid’s teeth, but the chewy options such as gummies for example, should be avoided because they stick to teeth far longer than other selections. When you sift through the children’s loot, there are a few rules to apply if you want to prevent extended damage to their oral hygiene.

Dental Tips to Avoid Halloween Tooth Decay

1) Select Candy that is Not as Bad for Teeth. The best types of treats are those that dissolve easily and don’t produce residue that sticks to the teeth’s enamel, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Some Halloween candy, unfortunately, is designed to linger in the mouth. Because they cling to teeth and provide sugars for bacteria to feed on, your ghouls and ghosts should avoid lollipops, gummy worms, and any hard-sucking candies that are especially bad. The reason being is that these can significantly contribute to tooth decay. Let your kids munch on chocolate or other classic candies that disintegrate quickly and skip the sticky products.
2) Halloween Candy Buy Back. Some dental offices, or even your own program will offer buy-back program. Some dentists and other health-conscious businesses or even you can offer 1$ for every pound of bad candy or treats that are then donated to worthy organization. Instead of fighting with your child to ditch the gummies, wax lips and other indulgences, you can have them trade their candy for money for cash, so they can buy small toy, for example, can be a nice incentive for your child to forget the worse candies.
3) Binge on Candy Only for a Short Time. Halloween can be a morning-to-evening treat extravaganza, whatever you have planned for the holiday. Letting your child graze from sun-up to sundown means letting his or her teeth bathe in sugars and acidic ingredients all day long with the access to marshmallows, cupcakes, pretzels, chips, and candy ruling the day. Adopt a “binge” mentality for Halloween, your little one can brush away the evidence before bed, considering condensing these expected treats to one short feast at night.
4) Favor Healthy Treats. Enticing your child to choose healthy treats over sugary ones can be a challenge. If you make healthy snacks more attractive, they may be more inclined to forget about the snacks. For example, make frozen banana halves into friendly ghosts with chocolate chip eyes and mouths. Glow sticks or temporary tattoos to support a cavity-free Halloween in your neighborhood of go food-free altogether and hand out stickers.
5) Insist on Extra Teeth Brushing. In the excitement and buzz of the Halloween season, your little goblin might neglect brushing. This is the time of year to not only be diligent about morning and evening brushing, but also insisting they brush half an hour after they have a sugary treat.

Pediatric Dentist

Don’t forget about your checkups at the dentist. Call Smile Reef today to schedule your kids’ dental exam.

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Years ago if you had a cavity your dentist would automatically fill it with a silver colored filling. In more recent years white colored fillings have become available. Many people ask us what is the difference between these two fillings and which one is best for their child. Today we will go through all of the details you need to decide what type of filling is best for your kiddos.

Silver Amalgam Fillings

Silver fillings are not actually made entirely of silver. They are a mixture of silver, copper, tin, and mercury. They are called amalgam fillings. The thought of having mercury in your mouth does not make people very comfortable. The FDA has done extensive research on the amalgam fillings and has concluded that they are safe for adults and children over the age of 6.
• Pros:
– Amalgam fillings last between 10 and 15 years.
– They are incredibly strong.
– Amalgam fillings are also cheaper sometimes. Many insurances have a lower rate for patients that choose amalgam fillings.
– This type of filling takes less treatment time when you are at the dentist.
• Cons:
– The first one that most people will mention is that they do not look as good as a tooth-colored option.
– Amalgam requires more of your healthy tooth be removed to make room for the filling.
– When the temperature in your mouth changes amalgam fillings expand and contract. Over time this decreases the integrity of the tooth.
– Amalgam fillings do not work well if the cavity is too small.

White Composite Fillings

Over the years a new type of filling was introduced. A composite filling is tooth-colored. There are no health dangers associated with the white composite fillings.
• Pros:
– A composite filling lasts for 7 to 10 years. This is less than amalgam fillings but is still a large amount of time. If you have excellent oral hygiene sometimes they can last even longer than 10 years.
– Your fillings will blend in with the color of your teeth. Many people are extremely embarrassed about their amalgam fillings. People choose to replace their amalgam fillings with composite fillings just for aesthetic reasons.
– More of your healthy tooth can be saved during treatment than when amalgam fillings are used.
– Your tooth and the composite material bond together and make for a stronger surface.
• Cons:
– They may cost more than amalgam fillings. Some insurances do not cover composite fillings at all.
– Treatment will take a little bit longer to complete.
– Risk of chipping is higher than with amalgam fillings.

Pediatric Dentistry

We hope that this information has been educational for you. If you still have questions about what type of filling to choose for your children please give Smile Reef a call. We would be happy to talk over the options with you. We know the kind of love and protection parents feel towards their children. We want to ensure that you are completely comfortable with whatever decision you make.

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Throughout the years there has been lots of talk about fluoride. People will talk about whether fluoride is good or bad. Sifting through the information so that you can form your own opinion can be exhausting! Smile Reef have put together some details about fluoride for you today so that you can know exactly what the debate is about.

What is Fluoride?

Before we dive in we thought a definition of fluoride would be good. Fluoride is the negative ion of the element fluorine. Fluorine is the chemical element of atomic number 9. Wikipedia states that “it is the lightest halogen and exists as a highly toxic pale yellow diatomic gas at standard conditions.” Fluorine is used in refrigerators, toothpaste and rocket fuels. Trace amounts of fluoride are found in air, soil, plants, rocks, fresh water, sea water and many goods. Fluoride is essential to keeping your bones and teeth hard and strong. About 99% of the body’s fluoride is stored in bones and teeth.

Effects of Fluoride in Water

Fluoride is naturally in almost all water supplies. Having the right amount of fluoride in your water is proven to protect your teeth. The federal health officials recommend that the best of amount of fluoride of water is 0.7 parts per million. Fluoride being added to water has been debated for years. Health care professionals are in support of water fluoridation to help prevent tooth decay. If you are not sure if your child is getting enough fluoride Smile Reef can help you determine whether their fluoride levels are sufficient. If your child needs fluoride supplements we can recommend some. Evidence has shown that water fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay and help build a healthy community. Most cities show that for every $1 spent for water fluoridation saves $38 in dental care. The state of Texas saved $24 per child in Medicaid expenditures because of the cavities that were prevented by water being fluoridated.

Fluorosis Symptoms

If you have high fluoride concentration you can develop a condition called fluorosis. Fluorosis causes faint, white specks on your teeth. Most cases are mild. Mild fluorosis does not affect the health or function of the teeth or cause pain. In an effort to reduce fluorosis the CDC proposed in 2015 that the water fluoridation level be 0.7 parts per million.

Case Against Water Fluoridation

The main issue for those that are opposed to water fluoridation is that they feel that it is taking away their right to choose what they are consuming. They also state that water fluoridation has not been proven to be the link in improved dental health. They believe that other factors that are not being taken into consideration that could also be affecting those numbers.

Pediatric Dentistry

Here at Smile Reef we believe the benefits of fluoride will help your child with their oral health. If you have more questions about fluoride you can ask Dr. Jensen at your next visit. If you would like to opt out of fluoride treatment for your child the choice is always yours! Contact Smile Reef for all your pediatric dentistry needs.

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