Fluoride intake important after weaning
Parents should pay attention to the amount of fluoride a baby receives after weaning. Too much fluoride can cause tooth discoloration and too little fluoride can cause teeth to be more susceptible to cavities, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing education.
Bottled waters need to be on the list of items that parents must check before giving to their child. Some bottled waters have little or no fluoride at all.
"This is a problem when parents are giving their children only this 'designer' water from a bottle," says Heidi Hausauer, DDS, and spokesdentist for the Academy of General Dentistry. "In my own practice, I've seen an eight-year-old girl come in with eight cavities. The fact that she's been drinking only non-fluoridated water could have been a contributing factor. Most of the tap water in this country is properly fluoridated, so it's best if the child receives most of the water straight from the faucet."
When introducing toothpaste, the Academy of General Dentistry recommends using a small pea-sized dab.
"Parents should be brushing their children's teeth with this amount until the child is six years old," says Dr. Hausauer. "Until this age, children don't have the dexterity to brush by themselves properly and they tend to swallow the toothpaste and ingest the fluoride."