When shall I start giving my child fluoride?
Fluoride is important since, after being absorbed by the growing teeth, allows transformation of hydroxyapatite crystals they are made of into fluorapatite, a compound much more caries-resistant. Therefore, it must be taken in along all the period of deciduous and permanent teeth development.
Therefore, the pregnant woman should take fluoride as well. 1 mg/day (Zymafluor, 1 mg tablet) is advised starting from the fourth month of pregnancy up to the end of breast-feeding (or according to the gynecologist’s prescription). The tablet will be taken at evening, after teeth brushing, and let it dissolve in the mouth.
Between 15 days and 2 years of age, the dose shall be 0.25 mg/day (usually Zymafluor oral drops)
Between 2 and 4 years of age, the dose shall be 0.5 mg/day (Zymafluor oral drops or tablets)
Between 4 and 12 years of age or until the child has changed all his/her primary teeth, dose shall be 1 mg/day (Zymafluor tablets).
What is fluorosis?
Fluorosis is a pathology caused by an excessive absorption of fluoride. This causes the retention of proteins, like amelogenin which, in turns provokes the development of irreversible enamel staining.
Administering fluoride to my child, do I run the risk of causing him/her a fluorosis?
Fluorosis is a rather rare event in Western countries since tap water contains only a very limited amount of fluoride.
To avoid concerns:
Get information about the tap water fluoride amount in the zone you are living. If your child drinks plenty of water, calculate the corresponding fluoride intake and reduce the daily dose you administer.
If your child drinks bottled water, check on the label if it contains fluoride and, if this is the case, reduce the daily dose.
Until he/she is at least 6 years old, let your child use a tooth-paste dedicated to children. Children, in fact, ingest a lot of paste. Pastes for adults shall be avoided since they contain a greater amount of fluoride and, if ingested, could easily lead to an overdose.
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