Frequent Questions

Is my child getting an appropriate amount of fluoride from drinking water and tooth brushing?

Yes, if you and your child are among the 196 million Americans who receive their water from an optimally fluoridated community water system (0.7 to1.2 milligrams per liter) and you follow guidelines in your child?s tooth brushing, then it is highly unlikely that your child is receiving too much fluoride. Centers for Disease Control recommends that children under 6 who are using fluoride toothpaste should use a small, pea-sized amount on the brush, spit out the excess paste, and rinse well after brushing. Begin using toothpaste with fluoride when your child is 2 years old. Use toothpaste with fluoride earlier only if your child?s doctor or dentist recommends it. You can discuss the correct use of fluoride treatments and fluoride-containing toothpaste with your child?s dentist. In addition, you can go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, to learn how young children can use fluoride-containing products to prevent dental fluorosis: www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/publications/factsheets/brushup.htm. In some regions in the United States, community drinking water and home wells can contain levels of naturally occurring fluoride that are greater than the optimal levels recommended by the CDC for prevention of tooth decay. EPA currently has a non-enforceable recommended guideline for fluoride of 2.0 mg/L that is set to protect against cosmetic effects. If your home is served by a water system that has fluoride levels exceeding this recommended guideline, current EPA recommends that children should be provided with alternative sources of drinking water
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