Thursday, 01 March 2007 00:00
The possibility of an association between fluoride in infant formula and the risk for enamel fluorosis has been studied for many years. Until now, most researchers concluded that fluoride intake during a child’s first 10 to 12 months had little impact on the development of this condition in permanent teeth. A recent study, however, has raised the possibility that fluoride exposure during the first year of life may play a more important role on fluorosis development than was previously understood. It now appears that the amount of the fluoride contained in the water used for mixing infant formula may influence a child’s risk for developing enamel fluorosis, particularly if the child’s sole source of nutrition is from reconstituted infant formula.
Most bottled water contains low fluoride concentrations; however, much variation exists—some brands may contain optimal or higher levels. Because there currently is no requirement to display the fluoride concentration on bottle labels, you may need to contact the bottler to learn the level of fluoride in bottled drinking water. Certain types of bottled water are, by definition, always low in fluoride and can reliably be used for mixing formula. Water labeled as purified, distilled, deionized, demineralized, or produced through reverse osmosis are always low in fluoride.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #13.
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