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fluoride drops - anyone use them?

(57 Posts)
katierocket Fri 27-Jun-03 21:57:24

Hi, thought that Jasper might be able to help with this one.

DS is 20 months old - took him to the dentist for the first time last week, check up for me really but just to get him used to it. We live in Manchester which is apparently one of the only places in UK that doesn't have fluoride in the water. Anyway, he was saying I should get fluoride drops from the chemist to put in his food but when I asked chemist she said they were only available for children 3+ years.

has he advise me wrongly? anyone else know anything about this? I did have a look at a couple of other threads but none mentioned this specifically.

SofiaAmes Fri 27-Jun-03 22:10:13

Actually there are only 2 or 3 cities in the uk that DO have flouride in the water. My dentist prescribed flouride drops for my ds as soon as he had teeth (11 mo.). When I tried to fill it at the chemists they gave me a lot of trouble too and tried to say that they weren't sure they were made/available etc. Anyway, my dentist has children of her own and had told me that she had given them to her children. So I just insisted to the chemists that they were available and she should look harder. Magically she found them a few days later.
By the way, the drops I got tasted like sugar water and my ds was more than happy to consume his 7 drops. In fact, I ended up having to hide the bottle because dh was giving him too much because he liked them so much.

mears Sat 28-Jun-03 00:02:26

When I had my first baby (now 16yrs old), fluoride drops were given out in the hospital. When he was old enough he was given fluoride tablets and advised to brush teeth with fluoride free toothpaste. His teeth are mottled looking because he has fluoridosis - basically due to excessive fluoride as a child. Two years later when I had baby no.2, the advice to give fluoride drops had stopped. Children nos. 3 and 4 got neither drops or tablets. Having read a lot about fluoride I decided that it was not a chemical I wanted to be giving to my children. I certainly would oppose it being added to the water supply although that is what the government wants to do. Brushing with a pea sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride in it is enough IMO. The state of my first sons teeth is a real shame - due to the guidance at the time.

robinw Sat 28-Jun-03 07:37:13

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Mil Sat 28-Jun-03 09:47:12

My ds is 9mths and doctor recently prescribed fluoride drops (Brand name Endekay) so I have been given them in his food once daily. A bit worried now tho' as we currently live overseas but are returning to Manchester in a month and don't know if to continue using drops. Any advice appreciated!

mears Sat 28-Jun-03 11:37:11

I personally, after knowing what I know now, would not use them. However, that is me. If you do want to use them, make sure you clean his teeth with a FLUORIDE FREE toothpaste because children tend to eat it. If there was fluoride in it he could end up with too much. As I said before, I did it correctly with my ds and his teeth are mottled due to too much fluoride. Also research the subject first. Fluoride only delays the formation of dental caries - it is not a substitute for good dental hygiene. It also has some side effects which I was not aware of till reading about them at a later stage. My kids all have filling free teeth - except for a tiny one that the youngest needed because I didn't pay enough attention to teeth cleaning.

SofiaAmes Sat 28-Jun-03 21:42:07

mears, it sounds like you were really terribly advised. My dentist had me find out the flouride level in my local water (you can find this out by calling your water provider) and calculated the dosage of drops for me to give my son based on that level, as well as the assumption that he would be swallowing toothpaste because of his age.
I come from the usa where the water is flouridated everywhere and people have much better teeth than here and there doesn't seem to be any medical objections to flouridating. And I've never seen an american child with flouridosis (I'm sure it exists, but is very rare).

zebra Sat 28-Jun-03 23:19:54

I come from the USA, too, and I know a lot of people there (California) who object to fluoridation and think it's annoying at best, a hazard at worst. (Just goes to show what a big diverse country USA is...) I have a mouth full of mercury fillings so fat lot of good drinking fluoridated water did me. I think Mears is right, supervised & regular cleaning, along with minimal sugary foods, is best strategy.

mears Sat 28-Jun-03 23:58:10

Where I live does not have fluoride in the water although there are moves afoot to try and get that done. The advice I got at the time was the health policy at the time. All new mothers were visited by a member of the dental team and fluoride drops were given out free. It was only later I read information about the side effects of fluoride. One of the midwives I worked with was married to a guy who suffered terrible side effects. His mother ran the anti-fluoride campaign the first time that they tried to put fluoride in the drinking water. The evidence was pretty compelling, especially from Holland. Gastric problems and increased rates of cancer were identified in ares where the water had fluoride in it, compared to areas which did not. Obviously it becasme apparent that the advice I and many other mothers received was wrong and has been changed. Mothers are not advised to give their babies fluoride from a very young age anymore. Pity my child had the consequence of discoloured teeth. I really believe that putting fluoride in the water is a breach of human choice.

robinw Sun 29-Jun-03 08:00:19

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katierocket Sun 29-Jun-03 08:40:34

thanks for all this info. to be honest I wouldn't even have questioned the dentist - just assumed he should have them. I'll do some more research.

jasper Mon 30-Jun-03 00:07:12

Sofiaames that's interesting. I am just back from Canada and noticed lots of the kids there had fluorosis, including one family who were visiting from Atlanta.

I despair when I read some of the rubbish written on fluoride on the net.It is like any other thing that is beneficial. It works well at the correct dose. Too much of anything is harmful.

I will repeat what I have been hearing at the very latest conferences on child dental health fwiw. The best use of fluoride in kids is supervised brushing with adult toothpaste using just a smear of paste and spitting not rinsing.

Fluoridating water supplies, aside from the moral debate is now thought to be ineffective as kids nowadays don't drink water

robinw Mon 30-Jun-03 06:22:15

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robinw Mon 30-Jun-03 07:10:18

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katierocket Mon 30-Jun-03 15:46:22

sorry robinw I'm being really dim here but what do you mean by "double blind"?

janh Mon 30-Jun-03 16:18:07

katie, I think it means nobody knows who gets what in a trial - not even the people running it - so nobody's opinion is influenced in any way.
(Not sure how they manage it, mind you!)

pupuce Mon 30-Jun-03 22:27:54

Jasper- what do you mean spitting not rinsing... can you explain why NOT rinsing?

jasper Mon 30-Jun-03 22:33:02

There are a great many people out there who do not value their kids teeth a jot. Hard to imagine in this company of high calibre parents but it would make your hair curl, it really would.
You won't find any info on the web about that no matter how much the subject of teeth is your personal hobby horse. That's why I think net based knowledge can be so misleading.

jasper Mon 30-Jun-03 22:36:52

pupuce rinsing washes off more fluoride but spitting leaves more of a residue on the teeth so it is effective for longer.
It makes perfect sense intuitively and I would strongly doubt the methodology of any trial that said otherwise.

robinw Mon 30-Jun-03 22:44:01

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jasper Mon 30-Jun-03 22:54:02

As we were discussing double blind trials it is obvious you can't do one on the subject of spitting v rinsing because the participants know whether they are doing one or the other even if the examiners didn't.
As I said it seems perfectly logical that a coating of fluoride paste left on the teeth might well confer benefits that the same fluoride draining down the plughole would not

jasper Mon 30-Jun-03 23:02:06

The other interesting thing about that particular study was the decision to use toothpaste with a high concentration of Fluoride ( 1500 ppm compared with normal adult paste which is about 1000 ppm). You could easily argue that such a high dose of fluoride would confer maximum benefits that could not be improved upon even by letting the paste linger in the mouth.

SofiaAmes Mon 30-Jun-03 23:54:37

jasper, could you recommend an "adult" toothpaste that isn't "spicy." I have been brushing my son's teeth with MIlkTeeth, but am concerned about its lack of flouride. He doesn't like our toothpaste (crest) though because it is too minty.

By the way, my stepkids fit into the category of uncared for teeth. They are fed non-stop sweets and no one ever makes them brush their teeth. Both of them had 3 or 4 of their baby teeth pulled because they were completely rotten.

robinw Tue 01-Jul-03 07:32:43

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janh Tue 01-Jul-03 09:12:01

Sofia, you could try Aquafresh in the green box - the blue one, freshmint, is very strong but the green one is called mildmint and is acceptable in our (picky) house.

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