Blog Post

Is Fluoride Bad for Toddlers?
Posted on 08/23/2017

Is Fluoride Bad for Toddlers?

baby looking awayAt Pediatric Dentistry Kahala, many parents ask Dr. Hirai and our staff about flouride, and whether or not additional supplements are needed for their children. Our consensus is that it is important to use a fluoride-based toothpaste on your child’s teeth each day after their first tooth emerges.

Even though effectiveness of fluoride has been proven time and time again, there has been debate regarding its use in water supplies. Most cities do have fluoridated water, and it’s overall positive effect on oral health is a big reason why.

Fluoridated Water: Early Beginnings

Many cities started adding fluoride to their drinking water in the 1940s, and about 75% of people across the United States get water with the proper amount of fluoride. However, most bottled water does not have fluoride in it, unless it’s indicated on the label. Water with fluoride is considered one of the most important public health, medical and dental accomplishments ever and it’s important to teach your children about the importance of drinking water throughout their life.

How Do I Know If My Children Are Getting Enough Fluoride?

If your child is a baby, they will get their proper fluids from breast milk and/or formulas. Once they begin eating solid food as toddlers, water should be introduced into their diet, rather than sugary drinks. If you use tap water at home, then they are probably receiving the correct amounts of fluoride.

It’s nearly impossible to consume “too much fluoride,” so if your child accidentally swallows toothpaste, don’t worry! If it becomes excessive and habitual, talk to your family’s healthcare professional.

Fluoride Tips

  • Start Early: As soon as you see your child’s first teeth coming in, you can use a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste that’s no bigger than a grain of rice. When your child reaches the age of two, you can start using a bit more toothpaste, on a soft bristled brush. Teach them about the importance of brushing their teeth, and not to swallow the toothpaste afterwards.
  • Use an ADA-Approved Toothpaste: To ensure the fluoride level is safe, only use toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval.
  • Be Wise About Water: Provide your child with fluoridated tap water or if you purchase bottled water, ensure that it has fluoride-marked label.

Contact Your Local Pediatric Dentist Today!

If you have any questions about fluoride and how it can help your toddler avoid tooth decay, please feel free to contact us at (808) 737-0076. We’re proud to serve patients throughout Honolulu, Hawaii Kai, and Kahala. We look forward to meeting you and your child soon!