Dentists in Prescott AZ believe fluoride plays a critical role in maintaining the health and strength of teeth. One question many parents have is when to begin introducing fluoride into the lives of their children, and how much to give them.
It is possible to have too much fluoride, which can stain developing teeth and act as a toxin in the body when consumed in large amounts. The American Dental Association (ADA) supports fluoride use in young children, but advises to keep fluoride in our diet to a safe level.
In Prescott AZ, our water supply does NOT receive supplemental fluoridation, and the CDC reports Prescott AZ to have a natural fluoride concentration below the level considered optimal for prevention of dental caries. Therefore, at Prescott Dental Arts we encourage families to keep fluoride a part of their daily routine to help prevent cavities.
How much fluoride and when? The CDC reports that Prescott AZ currently has a natural fluoride concentration in the water of 0.36mg/L. The ADA recommends 0.01mg daily for infants 0-6 months, which is usually achieved through normal feeding and no supplement is needed at this point. Beginning at age 7 months, the ADA recommends 0.5mg per day for an infant 7-12 months old. With our current fluoride concentration in Prescott AZ water, it would require your 7 month old to drink 1.4 LITERS OF WATER to have a healthy amount of fluoride for their developing teeth.
At Prescott Dental Arts, we don’t advise giving your infant this much water daily, so instead we encourage parents begin supplementing fluoride by beginning to brush their infant’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste when they notice the first tooth cut through the gums. A smear onto a toothbrush, about the volume of a grain of rice, is sufficient to provide the fluoride your child will need. It is recommended that they swallow this amount instead of rinsing or cleaning the toothpaste off their teeth. Also, it is safe to consider using fluoridated bottled water when mixing up solid food for spoon feeding.
For children ages 1-3yrs in Prescott AZ, the ADA recommends 0.7mg fluoride each day, which is easily achieved by forming the habit of brushing your child’s teeth TWICE daily with only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste
For children ages 4-8yrs in Prescott AZ, the ADA recommends 1.0mg fluoride daily, which is now an age where children can learn to spit out toothpaste foam instead of swallow. At this stage in life, children can begin using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush TWICE daily, but have them spit and rinse when finished. This is a good time to receive routine dental check-ups and have fluoride varnish applied to your child’s teeth. Children should still be supervised for proper toothbrushing until around 8 years old.
For children ages 9-13yrs in Prescott AZ, the ADA recommends 2.0mg fluoride daily, which the child is now old enough to use an adult amount of toothpaste to brush on their own TWICE daily. A mouthwash with fluoride, such as ACT or Crest Pro Health, would be beneficial. Don’t forget regular dental check-ups!
Children ages 14-18 need 3.0mg fluoride daily. With a concentration of only 0.36mg/L in Prescott AZ water, that would require your teenager to drink 8.3 LITERS OF WATER daily if they aren’t already taking good care of their teeth. That’ a little over 2 gallons of Prescott tap water. If your teen doesn’t have a regular adult routine for their oral hygiene, it would be good idea to get a prescription from your dentist for high-fluoride toothpaste and to come in for regular check-ups to stay on top of their oral health.
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Prescott, AZ 86301
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