Toddlers and Fluoride Quiz

Toddlers and Fluoride Quiz
Image: Jacqueline Veissid/Getty Images

About This Quiz

You know that brushing with fluoride toothpaste is an important part of keeping your smile healthy and white, but is fluoride safe to use on your toddler's teeth?
True or False: You should begin brushing your child's teeth with a fluoride toothpaste as soon as you see the first baby tooth break through his or her gums.
True
False
While good oral hygiene is important from the start, you should never use fluoride toothpaste on children younger than 2, unless otherwise instructed by the child's doctor or dentist.

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What are the three forms of fluoride approved by the FDA for use in toothpaste?
stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride and sodium monofluorophosphate
The three fluoride compounds approved for dental use in the United States are stannous fluoride (fluoride combined with elemental tin), sodium fluoride (fluoride and sodium), and sodium monofluorophosphate (a different compound of fluoride and sodium). Please don't try the others on your teeth!
hydrofluoric acid, fluorine and fluorochloro hydrocarbons
hydrogen fluoride, calcium fluoride and sulfur hexafluoride

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What should you use to clean the teeth and gums of infants and very young children?
a soft toothbrush and plain water
While fluoride-free toothpastes are widely available and generally safe for young children, a soft brush and some plain water are all you need for babies and toddlers younger than 2.
a specially formulated training toothpaste
an American Dental Association-approved fluoride toothpaste

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How much fluoride toothpaste should you use for children between the ages of 2 and 6?
about a teaspoon
a generous strip extending from one tip of the brush to the other
a small pea-sized amount
In most cases, the recommended dose is just a pea-sized amount on the brush, since even closely supervised children are likely to swallow at least as much toothpaste as they spit out.

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What is dental fluorosis?
a dental treatment that cleans the teeth with high-powered streams of fluoride
discoloration of the teeth that occurs when young children ingest too much fluoride
Dental fluorosis is a discoloration of the permanent teeth that occurs when young children consume too much fluoride during the time when their permanent teeth are still developing within the gums.
another term for dental floss

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Fluoride exists naturally in nearly all water sources. What fluoride level does the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend for drinking water?
less than .1 parts per million
between 1.2 and 2.7 parts per million
between .7 and 1.2 parts per million
According the ADA, the ideal fluoride level is .7 parts per million (ppm). Up to 1.2 ppm is considered acceptable, but more than that may put your children at risk for developing dental fluorosis. If your water contains more than 2 ppm of fluoride, the ADA recommends that you use bottled or treated water.

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For whom does the American Dental Association recommend fluoride supplements?
children between the ages of 3 and 16 with low levels of fluoride in their drinking water
The ADA recommends fluoride supplements (taken as lozenges or chewable tablets) for children between 3 and 16 years of age whose drinking water has a fluoride level below 0.6 ppm.
children of all ages, regardless of their drinking water source
all children younger than 2, since they don't get it in their toothpaste

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What should you do if your child occasionally swallows all of the toothpaste used to brush his or her teeth?
Don't panic! Although it's best to avoid overconsumption of fluoride, a mouthful of toothpaste here and there shouldn't cause too much damage.
As long as you're using no more than the recommended pea-sized amount, just continue to closely supervise brushing and keep reminding your child to spit. If he or she won't or can't spit, talk to your pediatrician about using less toothpaste or switching to a fluoride-free paste or plain water until the child is able to avoid swallowing.
Call the National Poison Control Center.
Stop brushing until your child is old enough to keep from swallowing, usually around age 6 or 7.

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True or False: In rare and extreme cases, fluoride poisoning can be fatal.
True
Although such cases are extremely rare, a significant overdose of fluoride can potentially be fatal.
False

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What are some common symptoms of a fluoride overdose?
itching, rash and fever
nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea
The most common symptoms of a fluoride overdose include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. At higher levels, fluoride poisoning can cause weakness, shallow breathing and convulsions.
headache and blurred vision

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What should you do if you suspect your child may have ingested too much fluoride, whether from a tube of toothpaste, a fluoride rinse or any other source?
Call the National Poison Control Center right away.
If you suspect that your child has swallowed more than the amount used for brushing, call the National Poison Control Center immediately, at 800-222-1222.
Wait a few hours and watch for symptoms to develop.
Call the pediatrician's office in the morning.

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In addition to toothpaste and drinking water, fluoride is commonly found in which foods?
fresh fruits
fruit juices, sodas, baked goods, meat products, snacks and baby foods
Fluoride occurs naturally in many foods such as meats and certain vegetables. Many fruit juices and sodas are high in fluoride, as they are made with fluoridated water. Even baked goods, snacks, baby foods and other processed foods may contain significant amounts of fluoride.
fresh dairy products

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Where does fluoride come from?
fluorine mines deep in the Amazon rainforest
water, soil and rocks throughout the Earth's crust
Fluoride is a natural mineral found abundantly in water, soil and rocks throughout the Earth's crust. Fluoride is a chemical ion of the element fluorine, meaning simply that it has one extra electron that gives it a negative charge.
the meteorite Fluoron

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According to the American Dental Association, why should children under the age of 6 NOT use a fluoride mouth rinse?
they tend to spill it all over the sink
they may accidentally swallow the rinse
The ADA recommends the use of fluoride mouth rinses for adults and children older than 6 years old, as younger children are likely to swallow the rinse.
they don't need protection from fluoride

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How does the fluoride in toothpaste help to prevent tooth decay and cavities?
by protecting teeth from acid and repairing areas that are already damaged by acids
Topical fluoride prevents bacteria from forming acids that erode the tooth enamel and cause decay. And in areas of the teeth that have already been damaged by acids, fluoride builds up in the weakened areas and begins to strengthen, or remineralize, the teeth.
by forming a water-resistant seal around the teeth
by engaging in loud and heated battles against the invading "cavity creeps"

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True or False: Breastfeeding mothers should take fluoride supplements to ensure that their infants receive adequate fluoride.
True
False
Infants do not need to have their breast milk supplemented with fluoride. In fact, there is some debate even among health professionals as to whether it's OK to mix infant formula with fluoridated water.

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When should children make their first visit to the dentist?
age 1
age 3
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children visit the dentist sometime around their third birthdays; possibly earlier if the child shows signs of dental problems such as staining or tooth decay.
age 7

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People are at risk of developing dental fluorosis until what age?
age 2
age 8
Dental fluorosis is a concern for children 8 years and younger, since this is when permanent teeth are developing under the gums. Once the teeth have developed and broken through the gums, they can no longer develop fluorosis.
fluorosis can occur at any age

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What is the recommended daily fluoride intake for children?
4 milligrams
.05 milligrams per kilogram of body weight
While the recommended daily fluoride intake for adult women and men is 3 mg and 4 mg, respectively, the recommended intake for children is calculated by multiplying .05 times the child's weight in kilograms. So a 20 kg (40 pound) child would need about 1 mg of fluoride per day.
10 milligrams

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How much fluoride is too much for a child?
more than .4 milligrams per day
anything above .10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day
The ADA has established an "upper limit" of .10 mg per kg per day for children under the age of 8; 10 milligrams per day for older children and adults regardless of weight.
more than 1 milligram per day

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