Alternative Fluoride Programs

Alternative fluoride programs that utilize fluoride mouth rinse, tablets, dental varnish or self-applied pastes are conducted in fluoride-deficient areas around the state. These programs allow children to receive a much needed preventative service with little effort.

Dietary Fluoride Supplements: Fluoride supplementation protocols have been developed to provide, through local health departments and at the parents request, an individual prescription of fluoride tablets or drops for children whose drinking water supplies are found to be deficient in fluoride. The most current dietary fluoride supplement dosage schedule (Winter 1994) is used to determine the proper dosage and is dependent upon the fluoride concentration of the drinking water source as well as the age of the child. Systemic fluoride supplements should never be prescribed to children living in fluoridated communities where the water supply is optimally fluoridated. If a child’s primary drinking water source is a well, spring or non-fluoridated community water supply, a water sample must first be taken and analyzed to determine the fluoride content. Oral Health Services also conducts and monitors some school-based fluoride supplementation programs in fluoride-deficient communities.

Fluoride Varnish Program: The Tennessee Department of Health, Oral Health Services developed a medical-dental partnership to address dental disparities in the youngest of Tennesseans. Fluoride varnish is applied by nurses to children seen in our medical clinics. The services are targeted to children birth to five years of age, but are available to all through age 20. Click on this link for more information.