Flouride: How much is too much?
Dr. Austin is a fluoride fan, but he no longer recommends fluoridated tap water for infants under 12 months of age. Baby formula, in all forms contain fluoride already. With the addition of fluoridated tap water, the amount of optimal fluoride might be exceeded. The Health & Human Services Department on January 7, 2011 recommended that the amount of fluoride in drinking water be reduced down to .7milligrams/liter. Check with your local water district to find out what the fluoride level is in your tap water. You may want to consider using bottled water with your infant formula.
WHEN TO START FLOURIDE FOR YOUR CHILD
Prior to the eruption of your childrens teeth, use a moist cloth to clean the gums. When your children’s teeth first begin to appear, it would be appropriate for the parent to begin brushing their child’s teeth. Dr. Austin does not recommend using toothpaste until the child is 2 years old. This is do to the baby’s small size. It is just to easy for the baby to swallow to much fluoride based on the baby’s weight. Never use more than a pea size dollop of toothpaste on the brush, and make sure your child is spitting the toothpaste out when brushing is done. Brushing supervision is important for the young child. Children under six have a poorly developed swallowing reflex which can lead to inadvertent swallowing of the toothpaste according to the Center for Disease Control. Swallowing the toothpaste should be avoided, especially at an early age, as it can lead to white spots on your child’s permanent teeth called fluorosis.
Dr. Austin recommends you schedule your child’s first dental visit around age 3-4. We encourage parents to bring their young children along to one of the parents own cleaning visits. This allows the child to become accustomed to the dental environment in a non threatening manner prior the child’s own visit. This technique called the “happy visit” works very well, with kids looking forward to their own dental visits.