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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Dental Services / Oral Health - Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that may occur naturally in your well water, or be added to municipal drinking water systems.

Fluoride Strengthens Teeth in Two Ways
Fluoride is absorbed by teeth forming in the jaw from before birth to 13 years of age (systemic). Fluoride in the form of gels, rinses, and toothpastes can be swished or placed directly on the teeth (topical). It can reverse the very early stages of tooth decay. Topical fluoride should not be swallowed.

 

Toothpaste with Fluoride – A Guide for use with Children

Monitor the amount of toothpaste with fluoride used! More is NOT better. Swallowing too much fluoridated toothpaste can result in Fluorosis (white splotches) on adult teeth.

Child’s Age

Amount of toothpaste with fluoride to use:

0-2 yrs old (up to age 2)

Adult brushes 2 times a day with water only (unless advised otherwise by a healthcare professional – or deemed at risk for tooth decay)*

If deemed at risk for tooth decay (by healthcare professional); use a rice grain sized smear of toothpaste with fluoride to brush baby’s teeth with twice a day.

2-3 yrs old (up to age 3)

  • Brush twice daily with a rice grain sized smear of toothpaste with fluoride
  • Adult supervision
  • Encourage spitting of excess toothpaste

3-6 yrs old

  • Brush twice daily with a green pea sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride
  • Adult supervision
  • Encourage spitting of excess toothpaste

7+ yrs old

  • Children need help brushing their teeth until they can write their name in cursive; around age 8-10 years old, depending on their dexterity
  • Slightly more toothpaste can be used as more teeth erupt, but always encourage spitting and instill responsible use of toothpaste

*How to know if your child is at risk for tooth decay?

  • Speak to your dental provider
  • Call the Health Unit and speak to a member of our dental team

 

Testing Fluoride Levels in Well Water

If you are interested in having your well water tested for fluoride levels, there are laboratories that will provide this service for a fee. You may contact the laboratory directly for more information on application forms, cost, and process for collecting a water sample.

 

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