Both Supplements and Treatments?

Should a child receive both fluoride supplements and fluoride treatments? What about the over-the-counter fluoride rinses?


Fluoride treatments given twice a year in the dental office are a good addition to the fluoride supplements the child takes on a daily basis. The fluoride treatments help to strengthen the teeth externally, while the supplements are more helpful for the internal development of the teeth.

Because the teeth do get some topical (external) benefit from the supplements and from fluoride-containing toothpastes, the over-the-counter (non prescription) fluoride rinses are generally not necessary. Dentists may also recommend these rinses for children that, for a variety of reasons, may be especially prone to developing cavities. The non prescription rinses are also helpful in adults who are cavity prone.

If your child is taking fluoride supplements and also uses an over-the-counter fluoride rinse, caution your child not to swallow the rinse. If the rinse is swallowed, it will cause an excess of the necessary internal dosage.

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