Is fluoride in drinking water dangerous for kids?
Not at all. In fact, it's a very important component of kids' dental health. Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in water sources, and it makes teeth strong by hardening the tooth enamel. Leading health organizations, including the American Dental Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, support community water fluoridation based on overwhelming scientific evidence that fluoride is safe and effective in reducing dental cavities in children and adults by 35 to 40 percent.
Many cities are required to add fluoride to tap water. If you live in an area where the tap water doesn't contain fluoride or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride, your pediatrician or dentist may prescribe a daily fluoride supplement when your child is about 6 months old. When given to infants, fluoride supplements can reduce tooth decay by 50 percent.
While small amounts of fluoride are beneficial, you should never give a child more than the prescribed dose. Just as with swallowed toothpaste, too much oral fluoride can stain your child's teeth.