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QA57: Should my child be on Flouride? Doesn’t the water have flouride in it and isn’t that enough?

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dental Association, and American Academy of Pediatric Dentists all recommend supplemental fluoride for all children from age 6 months to 16 years of age unless their water source has greater than 0.6 ppm (parts per million) of fluoride. In Southeastern Massachusetts, the only town that has fluoride at an adequate level in their municipal water supply is New Bedford, Massachusetts. Therefore, most of our patients live in towns that would require supplemental fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Some parents buy “nursery water” which is bottled water with fluoride added to it. We generally do not recommend this and prefer to prescribe fluoride supplementation. Also, if you use a water filter to purify your tap water, this removes almost all of the fluoride so your child would need supplemental fluoride. – Jason Reynolds, MD/PhD

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