Breastfeeding A to Z

Fluoride

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a source of fluoride, in not recommended in the first six months of life. But from 6 months on, fluoride is recommended to be part of baby’s diet. (1)  After they are 6 months old, you want to be sure the water you provide contains fluoride to help with preventing cavities.  If your water source is not a source of fluoride, a supplement is recommended.

The amount of fluoride in breastmilk is adequate if mother’s diet is adequate in fluoride. (2)

You can check the amount of fluoride in your local water supply by calling your local water department.  They can tell you how much fluoride is contained in your water.  If you have well water, you can have the water tested for fluoride, but most does not contain enough.  If you do not have enough fluoride present in your source(s) of water, talk to your healthcare provider about giving your baby fluoride drops.

The optimum concentration of fluoride in drinking water is from 0.7 to 1.2 ppm.  In 2011, the US Department of Human and Health Services and Environmental Protection Agency recommended fluoride concentration in public water systems be changed to specifically 0.7 ppm. (3)

Bottled water, distilled water, water that is treated with reverse osmosis or goes through a filtration system and well-water may not contain fluoride.  Or may not contain enough fluoride.  If you aren’t sure if the fluoride level is adequate in your water source, talk to your healthcare provider about giving your baby fluoride drops.  Having fluoride in the proper amounts, when your baby needs it, is important for their bone and tooth development.

References:

  1. Kleinman, RE, Greer, FR, Pediatric Nutrition, 7th edition, Elk Grove Village, IL, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2014, p 1173.
  2. Mannel, R, Marten, PJ, Walker, M, Core Curriculum for Lactation Consultant Practice, 3rd edition, Burlington, MA, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2013, pp 345-46.
  3. Kleinman, RE, Greer, FR, Pediatric Nutrition, 7th edition, Elk Grove Village, IL, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2014, p 1175.