Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. It is added
to local water supplies, toothpastes, and other mouth care products.
Fluoride controls bacteria and makes teeth stronger and more
resistant to decay. Fluoride also helps repair teeth that have already been
slightly damaged by plaque.
Fluoride supplements are available by prescription if
concentrations in the local water supply are too low. Usually, fluoride levels
are only low in well water and some water supplies in rural areas.
Normal amounts of fluoride added to public water supplies and bottled
water are safe for children and adults. If your child needs extra fluoride, your dentist may recommend
supplements. Use these supplements only as directed. And keep them out of reach of your child. Too much
fluoride can be toxic and can stain a child's teeth.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.