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Your Toddler: 13-18 Months

Should I Give My Baby Fluoride?

Are fluoride supplements necessary for my baby/toddler?

That depends. Is your water supply fluoridated? If your water supply contains between 0.7 and 1.2 parts per million of fluoride, you’re good to go. Your doctor or dentist should know if your municipal water supply is adequately fluoridated. If not, check with your city’s water department. You can also try looking up your community on the CDC’s web page My Water’s Fluoride.

If your water supply is not fluoridated, your child may need fluoride supplementation. Babies less than six months of age do not need fluoride supplements, but older kids may need them, depending on the amount of natural fluoride in your water. If your water supply comes from a private well, get it checked. Your local health department should be able to point you to a lab that can analyze your water. If the level of naturally occurring fluoride in the water is less than 0.7 parts per million — or if your family relies on bottled water instead of tap water — fluoride supplements are recommended. Talk to your dentist or pediatrician, who can prescribe or suggest supplements based on your child’s age. 

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By Michael Lee, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center Dallas