Fluoride is essential for good oral health because it protects and strengthens your teeth's enamel. This is the reason why your children receive fluoride treatments as needed when you bring them in for their regular cleanings.
Fluoride is a funny material because the right amount can significantly increase the health of your teeth, while too much of it is not good since it can weaken the enamel.
Are Fluoride Supplements Needed?
Most people in the United States use tap water that is enriched with minerals and fluoride. Fluoride has been added to public water for decades, and studies confirm the benefits of doing so. If your child drinks several glasses of fluoridated water per day, he or she doesn't need a fluoride supplement.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that children between the ages of 6-months to 16-years receive fluoride supplements in their diet or during their dental checkups.
You should not allow an infant to use fluoridated toothpaste because of the risk they may swallow it which can cause stomach aches. If you do use toothpaste, let your child use only a pea-size amount.
Babies that drink breastmilk do not need additional fluoride supplements, and if you use fluoridated water to make their formula, they are also getting the fluoride they need for healthy teeth.
Even before a baby tooth erupts, children need to drink fluoridated water, but at this age, they may also need a fluoride supplement. Once they become adults, as long as they drink plenty of water every day, the supplements won't be necessary.
In the past, there have been concerns about using fluoride and some people have theories that conclude fluoride causes cancer. While too much of it can damage teeth, keeping your regular checkup appointments can prevent any further damage. Please let us know if you have any questions about whether you need a fluoride supplement.