Fact: The American Dental Association concludes it is safe to use fluoridated water to mix infant formula and encourages parents to discuss any questions they may have with their dentists and pediatricians.

Although using fluoridated water to prepare infant formula might increase the chance that a child develops dental fluorosis, nearly all instances of fluorosis are a mild, cosmetic condition.

Fluorosis nearly always appears as very faint, white streaks on teeth. The effect is usually so subtle that only a dentist would notice it during an examination. Mild fluorosis does not cause pain, nor does it affect the function or health of the teeth.

A 2010 study examined the issue of fluorosis and infant formula, and reached the conclusion that no general recommendations on avoiding use of fluoridated water in reconstituting infant formula are warranted.

The researchers examined the condition’s impact on children and concluded the effect of mild fluorosis was not adverse.

Infant formula fluoride intake recommendations

Members of the 2011 ADA expert panel encourages clinicians to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for advising parents and caregivers of infants who consume powdered or liquid concentrate infant formula as the main source of nutrition:

Suggest the continued use of powdered or liquid concentrate infant formulas reconstituted with optimally fluoridated drinking water, while being cognizant of the potential risk of enamel fluorosis development.

When the potential risk of fluorosis development is a concern, suggest ready-to-feed formula or powdered or liquid concentrate formula reconstituted with water that is either fluoride-free or has low concentrations of fluoride.

Source: The American Dental Association Fluoride Facts and ILikeMyTeeth.org