In Part 1 we discussed the benefits of fluoride and the risks of over-exposure to fluoride.
In this second part we will look at the uses of fluoride and safety guidelines.
Products which contain fluoride
- Young children who cannot spit out should use either plain drinking water or a training toothpaste which does not contain fluoride for brushing.
- Children generally learn to spit out from around 5 or 6 years old. At this stage fluoride toothpaste can be introduced with adult supervision.
- It is best to use a lower fluoride toothpaste up to 7 or 8 years old, when children still tend to swallow some paste and their developing teeth could still be at risk of fluorosis.
- The amount of fluoride is usually shown on the toothpaste packet in parts per million (ppm). In India, most adult toothpastes contain 1000 ppm and toothpastes designed for children often contain 500 ppm or less of fluoride.
- No more than a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste should be used. Instruct your child to spit out after brushing and not to swallow it.
- Keep toothpaste out of the reach of young children. Swallowing large amounts can cause stomach problems and other health issues. Seek immediate medical attention if a child swallows a large amount of toothpaste.