Fluoride is important in your child’s dental health as it helps prevent and control tooth decay. However, it is important that your child gets the proper amount because too much fluoride can actually cause problems.
Fluoride can be found in drinking water, toothpaste, and mouth rinses. Having fluoride in drinking water is a safe and cost effective way to reduce tooth decay. You can ask your dentist or local public health department if fluoride levels are optimal in your area’s drinking water.
Toothpaste is another important way to protect teeth. It is important to teach children to spit out toothpaste rather than swallow it, as swallowing fluoride toothpaste will cause children to get too much fluoride and result in problems. Fluoridated toothpaste should be used twice daily as a primary preventive procedure. According to the American Academy of Pediatric dentistry use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste (left toothbrush) for children less than 2 years of age and a 'pea-size' (right toothbrush) amount of fluoridated toothpaste for children 2-5 to decrease the risk of fluorosis (or too much fluoride).
To learn more about the right amount of fluoride for your child ask your dentist.