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Fluoride Protocol for Children Recommended by the American Dental Association and River Valley Dental

A dental patient is considered under the child fluoride protocol from conception through the developmental years, generally through the age of 13 years old.

Conception to Age 3

Recommended Treatment:

  • Expectant mothers should see regular dental visits
  • Most city water is monitored for fluoride at the recommended measurement: 1.1 ppm. If there is a question as to the amount of fluoride present in a patient’s water supply, a kit can be purchased to test the water.
  • If there is too little or too much fluoride in the patient’s water supply the patient may consult with their dentist to remedy the situation.
    Example: fluoride drops, fluoridated bottle water, etc.
  • Newly erupted teeth are susceptible to decay. A parent should never put a child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup filled with anything but water. The child should not be sipping on milk or juice throughout the day.
  • Soft infant or age-appropriate toothbrushes and non-fluoridated toothpaste can be used by the parent to brush the tongue, gum tissues and teeth.
  • Dental visits starting at age 3, or if the parent has concerns or notices any problems with their child’s teeth and/or gum tissues before then.

Children Ages 4-6

Recommended Treatment:

  • Daily access to fluoridated water found at home, daycare or school. Parents should consult their dentist with any concerns.
  • Limit the amount of sticky snacks and candy, juice, milk, soda and other sweetened beverages to mealtimes. Water is best for regular hydration during the day.
  • Children can start using fluoridated toothpaste as long as an adult is present and the child is capable of spitting out the toothpaste.
  • Brushing for 2 minutes, twice each day with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Parents should floss for their child.
  • Dental visits every 6 months.

A professionally applied fluoride treatment is recommended once a year for a child with low caries risk and good dental health.

A professionally applied fluoride treatment is recommended twice a year for a child with high caries risk or rampant decay.

Children Up To Age 13

Low Caries Risk

Recommended Treatment

  • Brush with a fluoridated toothpaste for 2 minutes, twice each day (in the morning and before bed.)
  • Flossing once per day
  • Dental visits every 6 months
  • A fluoride rinse, such as ACT, may be used once per day as a preventative measure.
  • Professionally applied fluoride treatment once per year

High Caries Risk

Recommended Treatment:

  • Brush with a fluoridated toothpaste for 2 minutes, twice each day (in the morning and before bed.)
  • Flossing once per day
  • Dental visits every 6 months
  • Using a fluoride rinse, such as ACT, 1-2 times per day
  • Professionally applied fluoride treatment twice per year
  • Reducing risk factors