Babies should not receive fluoride supplementation during the first six months of life, whether they are breastfed or formula-fed. After that time, breastfed and formula-fed infants need appropriate fluoride supplementation if local drinking water contains less than 0.3 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride.
If your home is supplied by its own well, have the well tested to determine the amount of natural fluoride in the water. If your baby consumes bottled water instead or your home is connected to a municipal water supply, check to see if the water is fluoridated.
If your family prefers to use bottled water rather than tap water, you should consider purchasing water marketed for babies with specific amounts of fluoride added; sometimes called “nursery water,” it is available in the baby food aisle in grocery stores, and can be used when mixing formula.
Your pediatrician or pediatric dentist can advise you on whether there is a need for fluoride drops for your baby and prescribe the appropriate dosage. Formula-fed infants receive some fluoride from their formula if the drinking water is fluoridated in their community or if it is made with bottled or well water containing fluoride.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you check with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist to find out if any additional fluoride supplements are necessary, or whether your child is already receiving the right amount.
Remember, appropriate fluoride supplementation is based on each child’s unique needs. A supplement should be considered by you and your doctor until all of a child’s permanent teeth are present in the mouth.