The Importance of Drinking Fluoride-Free Water

Do infants need fluoride in their bodies? How does one include this in baby formula? What is the appropriate amount they require? How is this measured by parents who have no idea about this?

…First of all: take a deep breath and relax. You’re doing great as a parent, but try not to fixate too much on the details. While there are some controversies over fluoride and whether or not infants below six months should consume water with fluoride in it, the good news is that by the end of this article, you will learn everything you need to know about this topic.

Have you ever taken your child to the dentist to examine their teeth and been surprised when the dentist asks you about your water supply? This is because fluoride is a substance that is naturally found in water and plays a significant role in the development of healthy teeth as well as the prevention of cavities.

Why Is Fluoride Essential?

This chemical, which exists naturally in all water sources, is known to prevent the early stages of tooth decay. It can do so by:

• Getting incorporated into developing teeth when ingested (as water or supplements)

• Protecting the teeth from harmful bacteria

…So it sounds like fluoride is a good thing. What is the controversy all about?

The Controversy Over Fluoride

For years, the safety and effectiveness of fluoride in water have been questioned. It was established that fluoride-free water was required for babies to consume. Fluoride helps reduce the possibilities of cavities, and this was backed up by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the World Health Organization (WHO), among many other international organizations. They endorsed community water fluoridation!

Fluoride-Free Water For Babies: Why?

It appears that the controversy only comes into the picture when fluoride is mixed with baby formula (that is, given to infants aged six months and below). The ADA raised concerns about water with heavy concentrations of fluoride being given to infants. The truth is that while this chemical is required in the human body, huge levels of it can cause dental fluorosis. This is a discoloration that occurs in your infant’s developing teeth and can be alarming for a first-time parent with no idea about dental fluorosis. This is the first reason why fluoride-free water should be given to babies.

Another reason why fluoride free water for babies is your safest bet is that most infant formulas already contain the essential chemical of fluoride. Therefore adding water with fluoride to this presents a scenario of “extra fluoride”, which is not ideal, and may lead to dental fluorosis.

Do Infants Need Fluoride?

Now, remember, just because we recommend fluoride-free drinking water for babies does not mean that they do not require fluoride in their bodies. Kids aged six months and below generally do not require fluoride supplements unless they present low levels of it in their bodies. During your infant’s 6-month checkup, feel free to bring it up with your pediatrician and get a second opinion.

In general, if you reside in a non-fluoridated society, your doctor may recommend some fluoride tablets, drops, or vitamins if it is not already present in the formula consumed by the infant. The dosage depends entirely on the daily diet of the infant and the amount of fluoride naturally occurring in their system.

Fluoride-Free Water For Babies: Always Best Solution?

If you happen to live in a fluoridated area, do not worry. The ADA recommends that you check with your local water company to ensure that the fluoride levels in your water are less than 0.7 mg/L2. Of course, if you’re worried about the fluoride levels in your drinking water, there are alternatives to removing them.

• Fluoride-Free Well Water For Babies

If instead of a public water system, your home is supplied by well water, fret not. However, it might be best for your infant and your household to have the water tested before giving it to the baby. Ensure it does not have high concentrations of nitrates, iron, or fluoride before letting your baby consume it.

• Fluoride-free Bottled Water For Babies

Bottled water is not the worst option to go with; there are many options for babies, such as “nursery water” that have low levels of fluoride or fluoride-free, even. Get bottled water that is labeled as demineralized, deionized, purified, and distilled.