Fluoride in Well Water
Fluoride levels in well water can vary considerably. Well owners may test their well water for fluoride. To determine your well water fluoride levels, have your well water tested.
It is recommended that all residents brush their teeth twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste to prevent cavities based on the guidelines below.
Guidelines - Using Fluoride Products to Prevent Tooth Decay
A rice grain sized portion of toothpaste on a child's toothbrush is shown on the left. A pea-sized portion of toothpaste is shown on the right. Image and text Copyright © 2008 Canadian Dental Association
- Toothpaste with fluoride should be used twice a day.
- Children less than three years should have their teeth brushed by an adult, using a rice grain sized portion of fluoridated toothpaste until the child can effectively spit out.
- Once a child can spit out (usually three years of age), they should be supervised using no more than a pea-sized portion of fluoridated toothpaste.
- Too much fluoride from any source, including toothpaste, can cause dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is a cosmetic condition that appears as white chalky spots on the tooth surface. That is why it is important to use the appropriate amount of toothpaste for a person's age. Your dentist can provide you with more information on how much toothpaste is right for you.
- Parents/caregivers with children six years and younger should apply the recommended amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush and supervise to ensure proper brushing.
Fluoride Mouth Rinses
- Fluoride mouth rinses can prevent cavities for people at high risk of cavities.
- Not recommended for children under 6 years of age.
- Talk to your dental professional to determine if they are appropriate for you.
Topical Fluoride/Fluoride Varnish
- Dental professionals may apply fluoride directly to tooth surfaces in the form of fluoride gels, foams and varnishes to prevent tooth decay for individuals at risk.
- Fluoride supplements come in chewable tablets, lozenges or drops and should only be used by people who have a high risk of developing dental decay.
- Talk to a dental professional before taking any fluoride supplements.
Organizations that support water fluoridation:
A number of reviews on the effectiveness of water fluoridation have been conducted over the last 10 years. Over 90 dental and public health organizations support fluoridation, including:
- The World Health Organization
- Health Canada
- The Canadian and American Dental Associations
- The Canadian Public Health Association
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Information about water fluoridation: