The 411 on Flouride
Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, a condition damaging tooth enamel. That's why infants under 6 months don't need supplements--and most babies won't ever need them. Hold off on fluoride toothpaste until age 2 unless advised by a dentist.
- CHECK YOUR WATER. Your dentist should know if your drinking water is at the optimal fluoride level of 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million to reduce tooth decay. If not, check your local report at epa.gov/safewater. Well water should be privately tested.
- DON'T OVER-FLUORIDATE. For bottlefed babies under 1 year, mix powdered formula with water containing little or no fluoride. Good options: tap water within the optimal range or Nursery Water, which has a fluoride level of 0.7 ppm or less.
- BRUSH. Use a fluoride-free option: water or a training toothpaste, such as Baby Orajel Tooth & Gum Cleanser.