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Fluoride Supplement Dosage Chart

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 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!



  1. Studies of Fluoride Supplements: No Evidence of Safety – No Benefit
    Either and not FDA approved

    According to the Cochrane Oral Health Group, fluoride supplements fail
    to reduce tooth decay in primary teeth, permanent teeth cavity-
    reduction is dubious and health risks are little studied (1). Further,
    “When fluoride supplements were compared with topical fluorides or
    with other preventive measures, there was no differential effect on
    permanent or deciduous teeth,” write Cochrane researchers Ismail et

    The Cochrane research team reports, “We rated 10 trials as being at
    unclear risk of bias and one at high risk of bias, and therefore the
    trials provide weak evidence about the efficacy of fluoride
    supplements.” The team “found limited information on the adverse
    effects associated with the use of fluoride supplements.”

    In the early 1980’s, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation research first
    revealed fluoride tablets and mouth rinses failed to reduce tooth

    Fluoride supplements “have not been found by FDA to be safe or
    effective,” according to the US National Library of Medicine.(3)

    Before testing was required, fluoride supplements slipped into common
    usage without FDA approval (4) based on the presumed safety and
    effectiveness of water fluoridation. But, tooth decay crises occur in
    all fluoridated cities, states and countries. (4a) and fluoridation’s
    safety is deeply in doubt. (4b)

    A 2008 Journal of the American Dental Association systematic review
    reported that fluoride supplements deliver no benefits to primary
    teeth but increase dental fluorosis risk – white spotted, yellow,
    brown and/or pitted teeth (5) now afflicting almost half of
    adolescents, according to the CDC.

    A meta-analysis in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (2/99)
    reported: “In non-fluoridated communities, the use of fluoride
    supplements during the first 6 years of life is associated with a
    significant increase in the risk of developing dental fluorosis.” (6)

    “It is therefore concluded that the risks of using supplements in
    infants and young children outweigh the benefits…fluoride supplements
    should no longer be used for young children in North America,” writes
    Burt (Fall 1999 Journal of Public Health Dentistry). (7)

    Belgium stopped selling fluoride supplements in 2002 because
    documentation revealed that fluoride can cause physical and
    neurological harm with little evidence of decay reduction.(8)

  2. Hi Tom-

    Since we know (and even the CDC and ADA now admit) that the benefits of fluoride to teeth are from topical application and not ingestion, how could it ever be justified to prescribe fluoride supplements to chidren? If the answer is that the fluoride circulates through the body, finding its way to the saliva to “bathe” the teeth in fluoride all day, surely this is not an safe or effective method of delivery compared to toothpaste. In what circumstances would a child benefit more from fluoride supplements than a fluoride-based toothpaste and brushing regimen? Thanks,


    • Hi Joseph – Excellent question. My next article details several problems with fluoride supplements and I will discuss the only time I’ve ever prescribed them in my dental career.

      I hope to have it posted by early next week. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Hi
    Am going for swimming five days a week recently I have noticed the water tastes sour in the pool and also my molar teeth feel sensitive after the swim.
    I am more worried about my daughter who is only 4yrs old. Do we need to use fluoride toothpaste or ask the pool maintenance people to check the ph of the pool. Pls advise.

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