Dietary fluoride supplements for children--the role of the physician.
1. All children should receive one form of systemic fluoride and appropriate forms of topical fluoride. 2. If a child is not receiving optimally fluoridated water, the dentist or physician should prescribe dietary fluoride supplements (tablets or drops). 3. The correct dosage must be determined based on patient age and fluoride content of the patient's main water source(s). 4. Special attention is necessary concerning fluoride intake for children breast feeding or consuming infant formula. 5. To arrive at the correct fluoride dose, these steps should be followed: A. Always have a sample of the main drinking water source (usually home water) analyzed for the fluoride content before prescribing a fluoride supplement, if you do not have other specific knowledge of water fluoride content. The Medical College of Georgia (Department of Oral Biology - Dr. Whitford) provides water fluoride assay services. B. When the fluoride content of the water has been determined, the fluoride level and the child's age should be matched on Table 1 to arrive at the correct supplement dose. 6. Dr. Alderman, Director of the Office of Dental Health, Division of Public Health, Georgia Department of Human Resources, can provide lists of communities in Georgia that are optimally fluoridated.