Fluoridating your own water

I live in an area that does not fluoridate its water supply. I recently started buying fluoridated bottled “baby” water from a bottled water delivery company. Will drinking this water provide my 13-month-old with adequate fluoride? Since she is now on whole milk, she only drinks a small bottle of water with a little juice each day.

The discovery that fluoride ingestion could cut the rate of dental cavities in half is regarded as one of public health’s greatest success stories! For many infants and children in the U.S., their source of fluoride is the municipal water supply. Six parts per million of fluoride is regarded as fully fluoridated water. For children living in communities where the water is not fluoridated or whose source of water is a well, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association recommend fluoride supplementation beginning at the age of 6 months and continuing through the age of 16 years. Fluoride supplementation begun during infancy helps prevent dental decay both in the primary teeth (baby teeth) and in the permanent teeth. These children should receive fluoride in the form of a single daily dose of drops (infants and toddlers) or a chewable tablet (children). Drops or tablets rather than bottled fluoridated water ensures that the child receives the appropriate daily dose of fluoride, no more and no less. The current recommended daily dosages for fluoride based on age and water content are as follows:

Water F Content
Ages 0 ppm – 0.3 ppm 0.3 ppm – 0.6 ppm >0.6 ppm
6 mo – 3 yrs 0.25 mg F 0 0
3 – 6 yrs 0.5 mg F 0.25 mg F 0
6 – 16 yrs 1.0 mg F 0.5 mg F 0

Amounts in excess of the recommended doses of fluoride should be avoided, since too much fluoride can cause staining of the teeth (fluorosis). If you move to a new community, be sure to check on the fluoride status of the water supply.

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