When should fluoride treatment and toothpastes be used?
Water has fluoride at 0.7 mg/L levels. Toothpaste is normally 1-2mg in the .75-1.25ml commonly used when brushing. Toothpaste is normally about 1500 ppm fluoride.
Keep toothpaste out of reach of small children! Always remember half a tube of 1500ppm toothpaste could be lethal to a 3 year old.
Age 0-2: Fluoride toothpastes are not recommended, if in a fluoridated area the child should get enough from the water, if not, and your child is high risk of decay, your dentist may recommend it though.
Age 3-6: Normally at this age you should use non-fluoridated toothpaste. Why? Your child cannot spit out the toothpaste. They may be able to spit, but not the entire amount that they put in, which means they are swallowing a lot of toothpaste. If you’re water is not fluoridated talk with your dentist. He may recommend using a “RICE-SIZED” amount (not pea sized) of fluoridated toothpaste once every week or two. Do not start using fluoridated toothpaste without talking to a dentist. Your child should get fluoride varnish every 6 mo or 12mo, at the dentist.
Age 6-8: Start with Rice-sized amounts of fluoridated toothpaste. Do a spit test to see if your child can spit out their toothpaste before starting regular use of fluoridated toothpaste. Regular fluoride varnish applications at the dentist are recommended.
Age 8-12: Pea sized amounts of Fluoride toothpaste, along with regular fluoride varnish done at the dentists.
Age 12-18: Children should be able to regulate their own toothpaste use at this point. Larger amounts for a larger child, although even an adult does not need enough to cover the entire toothbrush. Still doing fluoride varnish applications is recommended at the dentists.
Age 18+: It is no longer recommended to apply Fluoride varnish yearly at the dental office unless in a high-risk for decay situation. Lots of decay each year, nonfluoridated water community, or difficulty in brushing. Older patients, or disabled patients, may require help in brushing and flossing and may again need fluoride varnishes to aid the prevention of weakening their teeth. Ask your dentist if you are high risk and need fluoride supplementation or varnish treatment.