436th DS provides choices for fluoride protection |
by Capt. Stacey E. Zaikoski
436th Dental Squadron
7/11/2008 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Team Dover members and their families can receive the fluoride needed to protect their teeth through various means.
As a public health measure to prevent dental cavities, many water suppliers add fluoride to the water supply. The optimal water fluoridation levels should range from 0.8-1.2 ppm (or mg/L).
The utility company that supplies water to base housing does not fluoridate their water.
Due to the lack of water fluoridation, children in base housing may be more susceptible to dental cavities. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supplemental fluoride for children ages six months to 16 years if community water fluoridation is not available.
However, many physicians and dentists do not recommend supplemental fluoride prescriptions. Many children get adequate fluoride through processed foods and drinks and from food and drink intake at other locations that are prepared with fluoridated water. In addition, many physicians and dentists believe the benefit of supplemental fluoride does not outweigh the risk of fluorosis (white spots on teeth due to too much fluoride in the diet).
The most current recommendations are to use fluoride toothpaste twice a day for children over two and use over-the-counter fluoride mouth rinses for children over six years who will not swallow the mouth rinse. Children should continue to receive regular dental check-ups and professional topical fluoride treatments, and parents can purchase bottled fluoridated water if necessary.
Parents of children in base housing are advised to talk to their medical provider to determine if their child would benefit from fluoride supplements.
If you reside in a community other than base housing, your community water supply may be fluoridated. You can consult your local water supplier to inquire about water fluoridation by calling the phone number on your water bill.
Water quality reports are public record and are easily obtainable. Do not hesitate to bring your water quality report to your medical or dental provider to determine if your child would benefit from fluoride supplements.