Infant Formula and Enamel Fluorosis

The American Dental Association conducted a systematic review of scientific literature and determined that parents should be advised to continue offering fluoridated tap water to young children despite the risk of enamel fluorosis. Patients at Artistic Touch Dentistry are welcome to share their concerns with us about the use of fluoridated water and infant feeding.

The controversy has to do with reconstituted powdered baby formula. Parents mix the powder with water and serve the reconstituted milk to babies from birth to age 12 months. This is also a time when teeth are developing, so exposure to too much fluoride can lead to a condition known a enamel fluorosis. When the teeth are exposed to too much fluoride during development, the enamel of the tooth can become streaked, mottled, or pitted. Because an infants diet is liquid-based, this can mean quite a bit of fluoride exposure if tap water is used to reconstitute the powdered formula.

The systematic review of the literature, however, recommends no change in parental instruction. The risk for enamel fluorosis in infants remains low. Concerned parents can purchase fluoride-free water for reconstituting formula, but we advise switching to fluoridated water after age 1 to prevent cavities. If you have questions about fluoridation and infant feeding, contact Dr. Maryam Brazdo today!