Ask Dr. Davis

How do you get too much fluoride?

Young children (2-to-4-years-old) who are just learning to brush are often not able to rinse out their toothpaste thoroughly. Consequently, they ingest a good bit of toothpaste, and if the toothpaste contains fluoride, this can be harmful. This is a main contributor to developing fluorosis.

Fluoride supplements can also cause fluorosis if taken excessively. Fluoride drops and tablets should not be given to any children under the age of six months, and should only be given to older children upon the recommendation of your pediatric dentist.

Certain foods and beverages contain high levels of fluoride, so parents should monitor the amount that their child consumes. These are not “bad” items, but should be consumed moderately in young-age children. They include:

  • Juice drinks
  • Infant chicken products
  • Creamed spinach
  • Decaffeinated teas
  • Powdered concentrate infant formula
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