In the 1940’s, water fluoridation officially started in the United States. While it is believed that water fluoridation does reduce tooth decay, there are many areas of the United States that don’t have fluoride added to their water.
In the same decade that water fluoridation commenced, people in non-fluoridated areas wondered how their children could reap the the benefits of fluoride if their water supply was not yet fluoridated.
Trials were performed in which dietary fluoride supplements were administered to children in order to determine if they could receive fluoride’s anti-cavity effects in pill form.
After this trial period, the American Dental Association (ADA) came up with the very first fluoride dosage schedule in 1958. In the years that followed, the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the ADA had two separate fluoride dosage schedules. Unfortunately, many children started getting dental fluorosis, and as a result, the amount of recommended fluoride was gradually reduced. Finally, in 1994 the ADA and AAP finally agreed on the following schedule, which was reaffirmed in 2010.
Fluoride Supplement Dosage Schedule
Do All Children Need Fluoride Supplements?
Even if your water does not contain fluoride, your child may not need fluoride supplements. The American Dental Association states that fluoride supplements are intended for use by children “living in non-fluoridated areas and at high risk of developing tooth decay.”
Your child’s dentist can help you determine how at-risk your child is for developing tooth decay. If your child is at low risk of developing cavities, then fluoride supplements are inappropriate whether or not your family’s drinking water is fluoridated.
While fluoride can help prevent cavities in high-risk children, it’s important to remember that cavities aren’t caused by a deficiency in fluoride.
Learn about what really causes cavities here.
Do you have any questions about fluoride supplements? Feel free to leave your questions and comments in the section below. Thanks for reading!