Why My Kid Got Fluoride from the Dentist


If you follow fluoride news this week, you may have heard that Portland voted against fluoridated water for the fourth time since 1956. If you don’t follow fluoride news then you won’t give a shit about the rest of this post because it’s about yet another heated debate involving health officials and the community of residents at the mercy of these professionals’ advice or recommendations. Fluoride is widely known to prevent dental problems, specifically tooth decay. With availability of fluoride products and services, fluoride (in water) is said to be one of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements.

Our city recently reduced the amount of fluoride in our tap water. Rather than 1 ppm (parts per million), it is now 0.7 ppm, the minimum recommendation for fluoride levels. My family drink, cook, and use the tap water therefore we are ingesting fluoride. The adults use fluoride toothpaste and Humnoy does too but such a small minuscule amount because it’s the only way he will brush his teeth (Whole ‘notha story). This story is about choosing to decline any further treatments of fluoride and, in this case, that happens at the dentist’s office. Why? Because with anything that’s an industrial by-product, it’s something to wonder if any interventions outside of your normal day-to-day life is necessary. Even the The Journal of The American Dental Association published a study that concluded “[t]here is weak and inconsistent evidence that the use of fluoride supplements prevents dental caries in primary teeth. There is evidence that such supplements prevent caries in permanent teeth. Mild-to-moderate dental fluorosis is a significant side effect.” While we use fluoride at home, that doesn’t mean I want any more of it from the dentist but here’s why my child received fluoride at his dental appointment:

At Humnoy’s very first dentist 1-year-appointment, I had already informed the hygienist that we will be declining any fluoride “at this time.” She seemed to agree and so did the doctor. He then received a clean bill off teeth from the dentist. The assistant then busts out a single-use container and prepares to use it on my child. I ask what it was and as she is applying it, she says “it’s just a little fluoride.” Uhm, okay.

fluoride for kids.jpg

Flash forward another year and new city later, we see a new dentist for a 2-year-appointment. I was a ball of nerves because I have the child, who can’t sit still, remember? I knew Humnoy would have to be held down for any one to go near his teeth. I appreciate the gentle approach and relaxed structure from the assistant and doctor when the toddler resisted. They gave him some time to adjust but had to check under the hood so Gym Hottie held a tearful Humnoy long enough for a glance at all “perfect” 20 baby teeth. Without any info or warning, out comes the familiar little piece of fluoride varnish and before I snapped back from the blood-curdling screams, they had already globbed it all over his mouth, not even teeth since he was squirming like an octopus tentacle.

Never mind that he received fluoride when I didn’t want him to. It’s the fact that my self-determination of willing treatment and my rights with patient (of the mother) involvement were ignored, that is if the jerks were complying with the ADA Code and all.

Has your medical provider disregard your rights or consent to treatment? For your child(ren)?

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16 thoughts on “Why My Kid Got Fluoride from the Dentist

  1. That is crazy! Hugo also got a fluoride treatment at the dentist when he was about 1. I didn’t think to protest at the time. I’m not even sure where I stand on it as far as drinking water goes. I switched to non-fluoride toothpaste and chew xylitol gum. I have an appointment for a cleaning next week, so I’ll ask my dentist then.

    • I see the argument for fluoridate, as a choice. It’s really unfair to mess-medicate a community unless it’s 100% agreed. If one chooses fluoride treatments at the dentist, to use fluoride toothpaste, and drink community water, then that’s their choice. Let me know how the dentist visit goes! 🙂

  2. My girls both get the treatment at their dentist appointments recently. They are 8 and almost 6. My son is 3 and will have his first dentist appointment soon. They know me well enough to know not to go against what I request they use or not use on my kids. We’ve had extractions, plates put in, cavities. I’m sure from all the years we didn’t have health insurance and I couldn’t take them to the dentist. So now I’m ok with them getting all of the help they need to get their teeth as healthy as possible. They are good now. My son will not receive a flouride treatment because I don’t think he needs it at this time, maybe in a few more years. I switch back and forth between flouride tooth paste and Tom’s….depends on my budget at the time.

  3. I woulda FLIPPED! I’m there with you on opting out of fluoride. My mom forbade it for me and my siblings when we would go for cleanings since elementary school. We got stony cold treatment from them as if we were dirty, naughty patients… Even though we had clean teeth…

  4. I don’t really have a stance of fluoride (yet) but I’m pretty firm on the “‘my child, my rules” thing. Why? Because I said so. Lord hep the (wo)man that thinks they’re gonna do anything to my kid without my approval. I am momma; watch me snap.

  5. ….I think I would of screamed. I think I would of let them know I’m calling a lawyer immediately. I think I would call that lawyer just to SEE what really my rights are. That is NOT COOL

  6. Harper has had jacked up teeth from the time they came in. No enamal on the top primary teeth. 3 extractions, two caped and one drill and fill before age 2. I STILL refused fluoride. The fluoride in the drinking water is not the same as the stuff the dentist uses. I try to stay away from it as much as possible. HOWEVER I changed pediatricians when it was clear ours ONLY spouted out text book information directly from the APA manual. He never listened to us about her teeth. He flipped when were started BLW. He suggested we let her CIO. He was too medical and not really willing to listen to us. I like our new group. They had vaccine refusal forms already printed up. They don’t worry about every little thing. Or make you feel bad for your choices. I would have been pissed if our dentist did that….

    • I want your pediatrician! It’s so hard finding a doctor that respects your choices. It’s harder when they try to push another choice. I liked our old pediatrician in the town Humnoy was born because he presented facts and never pushed us on anything. He didn’t understand baby-led weaning at all, but he was super nice and gentle. 😀

  7. I feel like fluoride is important to childrens dental health. I grew up with fluoridated water and currently still drink fluoridated water. I am now 27 years old without a single cavity. I think that it has a lot to do with it. So when my children go to the dentist twice a year I make sure they receive their treatments and they drink fluoridated water as well. Why not prevent cavities if we can. But if you request not to have fluoride, it is your right as a parent to deny treatment of any kind and they should not go against your wishes as the parent.

    • I think healthy diet plays a major part in healthy teeth. I grew up without fluoridated water, ate from-scratch meals, and never saw a dentist regularly until we could afford dental insurance in my teens. I did not have a single cavity, but I understand fluoridated water is a luxury for the communities who do not have regular dental services. Although these same communities also have poor diet.

So, what do you think?

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