What's Fluoride and How Do I Know if My Baby Is Getting the Right Amount?
Fluoride is beneficial even before your child's teeth begin to erupt: It strengthens the tooth enamel as teeth form. As we mentioned, brushing with fluoride toothpaste starting with the baby's first tooth is important, and it helps with enamel formation.
Know that many municipalities add the right amount of fluoride for proper tooth development to their water supplies. Call your local water district to find out whether your water contains fluoride and how much. Talk to your baby's pediatrician or dentist about fluoride options – such as drops and supplements – if:
- Your water supply doesn't contain any (or enough) fluoride.
- You use bottled water for drinking and cooking.
Also, be aware that your baby might be getting too much fluoride, resulting in dental fluorosis. This condition causes white or brown discoloration or spots on permanent teeth enamel.
Raising a baby from birth through infancy takes love, patience, and attendance to every little need, including oral health care. But by knowing how to care for your baby's teeth and gums, you'll do an excellent job of setting your child up for life!