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Fluoride and children's dental health
Updated: 12/16/2008 6:00:25 PM

Fluoride and children Although fluoride is beneficial to people's dental health, parents of very young children are sometimes warned to watch the amount of fluoride their kids' teeth are exposed to.

But why is this? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, excessive fluoride does not pose a health risk to youngsters, but rather increases their chances of suffering from a harmless condition known as dental fluorosis.

In fluorosis, the enamel of the teeth becomes slightly discolored, with chalky white specks or brown stains developing.

Children are at risk if they swallow significant amounts of toothpaste that contains fluoride, consuming too much of a fluoride supplement or if they drink large amounts of water that contains fluoride.

As part of a regular dental care routine, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents ensure their kids use no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Parents who are concerned about fluoride may also consult with their local water treatment plan. The EPA has set a standard of between 0.7 and 1.2 parts per million for fluoride content in the public water supply.

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