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Your Baby Week Twenty Six

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Updated January 20, 2013

5 of 7

Baby Vitamins and Minerals - Fluoride

By the time they are 6 months old, babies begin to need some fluoride for healthy teeth. Most babies can get all of the fluoride they need from the water they drink, instead of from vitamin drops though.

The main issues with your baby getting fluoride from water is that not all families actually use fluoridated water, and on the other hand, you don't want your baby to get too much fluoride.

Baby Formula and Fluoride Water

Because of the risk of fluorosis, or getting too much fluoride, which can lead to tooth staining, the American Dental Association (ADA) has advised that parents limit the amount of fluoridated water that infants under age 12 months get. This is especially important for infants who are primarily drinking liquid concentrate or powdered baby formula, which must be mixed with water. In this situation, instead of using fluoridated tap water or bottled water with fluoride, the ADA recommends mixing the formula with fluoride-free bottled water.

Fluoride for Babies

Even though you don't want your baby to get too much fluoride, most experts agree that once they are 6 months old, they do need some fluoride.

How much do they need? If the water has the standard 1 ppm (equal to 1 mg/L) of fluoride, then they would need to drink about 16 ounces of fluoridated water to get their recommended daily intake of 0.5 mg of fluoride each day. If they were drinking 32 ounces of formula, some extra water, and diluted fruit juice, it is easy to see how they might get too much fluoride though.

Fluoridated bottled Nursery Water is made with up to 0.7 ppm of fluoride, so your baby would need to drink up to 24 ounces to get 0.5 mg of fluoride each day, assuming they didn't eat or drink anything else with fluoride in it.



Sources:

ADA. Infants, Formula and Fluoride. Nov. 9, 2006.

Behrman: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 17th ed.

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