Today I’ve been given my third tube of free toothpaste.

I got one from Surestart, one from the health visitor and this last one from nursery when I picked my little girl up today.

All of these freebies have been tubes of “Fluoride Plus”, that is they contain 1000 ppm of fluoride as opposed to the 525 ppm of fluoride on the same brand’s standard version. The pack states that this high fluoride version is “Suitable for children under 7 with an increased risk of tooth decay.

So what’s wrong with that then?

For one thing, my child is NOT at any particular risk of tooth decay. So why would I want to give her an increased risk of fluorosis by giving her unnecessarily high doses of fluoride? (See this 1998 Science Daily article, for example, and this article from the British Dental Health Foundation.)

Do the powers-that-be assume that because I live in a Surestart area I must therefore feed my baby nothing but sweets and put her to bed at night with a bottle of coke between her teeth? Or did They simply get a job lot of the stuff and decide to palm it off on the poor, ignorant people?

Humph.

We like the toothbrush though. It is purple and sparkly.

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