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Dietary Fluoride Supplements

Dietary fluoride supplements help prevent tooth decay. Doctors and dentists prescribe them for infants and children who do not drink water with enough fluoride in it. The supplements come in two forms: drops for infants more than six months of age and chewable tablets for children and teens.

This chart shows the dosage for supplements. The dose depends on the age of the child and how much fluoride is naturally in their drinking water:

Dietary Fluoride Supplement Schedule

Age

Fluoride ion level in drinking water (ppm)*

<0.3 ppm

0.3-0.6 ppm

>0.6 ppm

Birth - 6 months

None

None

None

6 months -3 years

0.25 mg/day**

None

None

3 - 6 years

0.50 mg/day

0.25 mg/day

None

6 - 16 years

1.0 mg/day

0.50 mg/day

None

* 1.0 part per million (ppm) = 1 milligram/liter (mg/L)
** 2.2 mg sodium fluoride contains 1 mg fluoride ion.
Dietary Fluoride Supplement Schedule, 1994
Approved by the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry


Important Information for Doctors and Dentists

Consider the following factors to determine the proper dosage of fluoride supplements:

  • Take a thorough fluoride history. Determine how much fluoride the child gets from drinking water at home, daycare and school; from other beverages and foods; and from topical fluorides such as toothpaste with fluoride.

  • If the fluoride level of the child’s drinking water is unknown, you must test the water for its fluoride content before supplements are prescribed. For more information, please see the Testing a Water Sample for Fluoride Content web page.

  • The benefits of fluoride supplements are derived from long-term compliance on a daily basis. For this reason, not every child is a good candidate for supplements.

  • Getting fluoride from many sources can make proper prescribing complex. Ingestion of higher than recommended amounts of fluoride by young children may lead to dental fluorosis in developing, unerupted teeth. Most commonly, dental fluorosis appears as faint white, opaque spots or areas on the teeth. These spots are usually not noticeable except to a dental professional examining the teeth.

 

Last Reviewed: 10/18/17