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How Important is Fluoride for My Child's Teeth

For children of all ages, fluoride is important to strengthen tooth enamel, which helps prevent against tooth decay. In fact, fluoride and regular dental cleanings can even help reverse early signs of tooth decay. And, strong tooth enamel during childhood helps prevent tooth decay for the rest of your little one’s life.

The easiest place to get fluoride is from tap water. Since the vast majority of community water systems have fluoride, simply drinking water from the tap can help your kiddos fight tooth decay.

Is my water safe?

As a parent, you want to ensure your child grows healthy and strong. Recent highly-publicized reports on some water systems in the U.S. (eg: Flint, Mich.) have made many parents second guess where their children’s drinking water comes from.

And, if you were exposed to unsafe drinking water growing up, it’s difficult to trust what comes out of the tap. Some parents are even switching to bottled water instead of tap.

What parents need to know about tap water

The water quality in the U.S. is among the safest worldwide. Get information about your community’s water online from the EPA. Plus, most bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride, which is vital to fighting tooth decay and protecting against cavities, switching to bottled water can, in fact, result in more tooth decay for your children.

How to ensure your child gets fluoride

Tap water is an easy source of fluoride. Simply drinking fluorinated tap water can help prevent tooth decay!

Other good sources of fluoride include:

  • Most toothpastes: look for fluoride on the label
  • Fluoride treatments: your child’s dentist will recommend
  • Fluoride mouthwash (not recommended for children under age six): choose mouthwash for kids

As always, talk to your child’s dentist about fluoride and fluoride treatments. Find a dentist near you.

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