Scientific research supports the benefits of fluoride in the prevention of tooth decay. Over the past 30 years, significant reductions in tooth decay have been attributed to fluoridation of the public water supply. Water fluoridation, the process of adjusting the natural level of fluoride to a concentration that will protect against tooth decay, ranges from 0.7 parts per million to 1.2 ppm.
Fluoride is both safe and effective if it is used properly, but it can be hazardous at high doses. It is important for parents to supervise their children’s use of products containing fluoride, especially with children under the age of 6 who are more likely to swallow toothpaste instead of spitting it out. Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste on a child’s toothbrush.