Fluoride Recommendations for Children
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In a recent position paper, the American Dental Association made
the following fluoride recommendations for children:
Parents and caregivers should ensure that young children use an
appropriate-size toothbrush with a small brushing surface and only a pea-sized
amount of fluoride toothpaste at each brushing. Young children should always be
supervised while brushing and taught to spit out rather than swallow toothpaste.
Many children under age six have not fully developed their swallowing reflex and
may be more likely to inadvertently swallow fluoride toothpaste. Unless advised
to do so by a dentist or other healthcare professional, parents should not use
fluoride toothpaste for children less than two years of age.
Fluoride Mouth Rinse
Fluoride mouth rinses have been
shown to help prevent tooth decay for both children and adults. However, the ADA
does not recommend use of fluoride mouth rinses for children under six years of
age, unless recommended by a dentist or other health professional. Children
under six may be more likely to inadvertently swallow mouth rinse.
Dietary Fluoride Supplements
Children should only receive dietary supplemental fluoride
tablets or drops as prescribed by their physician or dentist based on the
dietary fluoride supplement schedule approved by the ADA, the American Academy
of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Supplements are
not recommended for children under six months of age.
Naturally-Occurring Fluoride in Water
The optimal fluoride level in drinking water is 0.7-1.2 mg/L (or
0.7-1.2 parts per million (ppm)), an amount that has been proven beneficial in
reducing tooth decay. Naturally- occurring fluoride may be below or above these
levels in some areas. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency requires notification by the water supplier if the fluoride
level exceeds 2.0 ppm. People living in areas where naturally- occurring
fluoride levels in drinking water exceed 2.0 ppm should consider an alternative
water source or home water treatments to reduce the risk of fluorosis, in young
courtesy of the American Dental Association an d posted 04-26-07
As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as
medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your childs pediatrician.
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