Ask your dentist about fluoride varnish. With 25 percent of children experiencing their first cavity before kindergarten, it’s certainly a question worth pondering. Read about the controversy within the medical and dental communities about fluoride supplementation. Too much fluoride in a child’s body can also result in their feeling ill — with symptoms like nausea and diarrhea — which can last for up to 24 hours. "address": { She graduated from Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and did her internship and residency at Children's Hospital, Boston. However, now, American Dental Association recommends to use a fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay even for babies under 3 (only a rice grain sized portion). The United States has a limit on the amount of fluoride water can contain, so make sure your water supply doesn’t exceed it. Overexposure to fluoride is very preventable, though, with the easiest way being to keep toothpaste and mouthwashes out of reach of small children. I thought that babies don't need it until their teeth have come in. Children older than 6 months can benefit from fluoride— both topical and systemic— because it will help protect their first set of baby teeth and prevent their future adult teeth from decaying by helping build healthy enamel. Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Bacteria in the mouth combine with sugars and produce acid that can harm tooth enamel and damage teeth. },{ As a pediatrician, she tries to work with parents to identify and address their concerns. The effects of fluoride on dental health is why many kinds of toothpaste and mouth rinses tend to have fluoride added to them. "Wednesday", The Fluoride Action Network is on a campaign to limit the amounts of fluoride added to substances consumed by infants “Because of the risk for dental fluorosis, and the lack of demonstrable benefit from ingesting fluoride before teeth erupt, the American Dental Association – and a growing number of dental researchers – recommend that children under 12 months of age should not consume fluoridated water while babies under 6 months of age should not receive any fluoride … Babies younger than 6 months old generally do not need any fluoride at all. Bottle-fed babies [whose formula is made with fluoridated water] are most likely to develop dental fluorosis. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers. Most communities in the United States already have fluoride in the water supply, either naturally or added in. Treatments we offer include fluoride supplements (drops or chewable tablets), as well as topical treatments — and we want to ensure you are well informed before making any decisions. Using fluoridated dental supplies in addition to fluoridated water is perfectly safe and acceptable. If there is insufficient fluoride in your local drinking water, your pediatrician or pediatric dentist may recommend or prescribe a fluoride supplement depending on your child’s overall cavity risk. Introducing fluoride at this age is optional, and not necessary for most babies. It was initially believed that there was a benefit to having fluoride present even before the teeth erupt. "addressCountry": "US" Do Your Children Need Fluoride Supplements? "Monday", Fluoride is mainly used to improve human dental health. He said that, since my son doesn't drink tap water, he needs to get fluoride elsewhere. My pediatrician wants to put my four-month-old on a fluoride supplement. Make sure to only use a dab of toothpaste no bigger than the size of a grain of rice for babies, as they are apt to swallow the toothpaste. "latitude": 45.5177294, "opens": "08:00", Information on our advertising guidelines can be found. A big round of applaus, How to Brush My Baby’s Teeth – Oral Hygiene For Babies, 1401 SE Morrison St. Ste 120, Portland, OR 97214, What to Know About Silver Diamine Fluoride. Congrats to t, Big congratulations to some of our recent “No Ca, Congrats Finn! FamilyEducation does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is painted on the teeth and allows a high topical uptake of fluoride to the enamel. FEN Learning is part of Sandbox Networks, a digital learning company that operates education services and products for the 21st century. Those children who are deficient in intake of protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamin C are especially vulnerable to fluoride poisoning. Do I need to be worried about my child drinking water with fluoride? When we eat food, there are bacteria in our mouths that help break the sugars and carbs down. ], There have been calls within the medical and dental communities to retract the current recommendation to supplement infants or young children with fluoride. FamilyEducation is part of the FEN Learning family of educational and reference sites for parents, teachers and students. "image": "", Fluoride helps repair the enamel on your teeth, and it can even prevent the enamel from breaking down in the first place. Find a dentist near you. … We provide compassionate care to ensure your baby’s first dental visit will be a positive one. Too much fluoride can cause enamel fluorosis, which results in discoloration of the enamel of a child’s adult teeth. Ever wonder if your child is getting enough fluoride to protect their teeth from cavities? Even before your baby sports his first tooth, it's a good idea to get into the habit of wiping his gums with gauze or a soft wet washcloth during bath time. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. How to Have a Minimalist Christmas With Kids, The Ultimate Christmas Tree Craft To Keep Kids Busy This Holiday Season, The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for 11-Year-Olds. "@id": "", Breastfed babies do not need additional supplies of fluoride. As soon as babies get their first teeth, parents should begin brushing with a fluoride toothpaste to cash in on the topical benefits of fluoride. Systemic toxicity is rare when children are properly supervised. "addressRegion": "OR", "streetAddress": "1401 SE Morrison St. Ste 120", Your pediatrician can review this for you at your next visit, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling a child's first dentist visit within 6 months of the appearance of the first tooth, or by 12 months of age. But recent studies have suggested that there isn't any benefit until after the teeth are visible. The risks of overexposure are especially high for children under the age of 8 because their permanent teeth are still developing. Fluoride penetrates the crystalline structure of enamel, creating a stronger, more dense enamel shell compared to enamel with no fluoride exposure. No. "@type": "OpeningHoursSpecification", They recommend fluoride toothpaste especially for babies who have a high risk of developing tooth decay. You should start introducing fluoride for babies as the teeth come in by brushing with a dab or a smear — no bigger than the size of a grain of rice — of toothpaste with fluoride. Q: Why do children need fluoride? Make sure you understand how to properly care for your child's teeth once they have come in. The standard recommendation for the past five years has been that infants who do not get fluoride from their tap water should be supplemented with fluoride starting at six months of age (I don't know why your pediatrician is recommending it now, but four months is too early to start). "@type": "Dentist", Especially since what dental professionals consider to be healthy and recommended for older kids and adults is not always the same for babies and toddlers.