My daughter is 3 and her doctor prescribed her fluoride since our water isn't fluoridated. I've heard bad things about it, but I can't remember what any of it is. Keeping in mind that her diet is not 100% Paleo, and that I'm terrible about brushing her teeth (she already has some decay, but not cavities or rot yet) should I give her fluoride?
Prescribed? Regardless of anyone's opinion on whether it helps prevent cavities, there is absolutely no reason that fluoride should ever be ingested. If your doctor is suggesting your child ingest fluoride I would highly recommend finding a new doctor.
Fluoride is not toxic in the amounts ingested from fluoridated water. In fact, it may be the only thing that keeps your kids from having really bad dental issues later in life. When I was 2 we moved to a municipality with fluoridated water from one without. My much older sis and bro were past the formative ages for teeth at the time (9 and 12 or so). We had the same practices in teeth brushing throughout, and used the same toothpaste. They all have a ton of fillings now. I have none.
Due to the naturally occurring fluoride in soil and the consumption of brick tea, which is rich in fluoride, the residents of Sichuan province in China have far higher fluoride consumption than almost anywhere in the US. They have the lowest rate of cavities in China and no known negative health issues from it.
That said, avoiding NADs from an early age is going to help immensely as well, as is getting adequate K2. But you only get one chance with your teeth. Use every tool available.
I grew up where there was no fluoridated water and I have a mouthful of cavities and mercury fillings to show for it. My kids also grew up without fluoridated water but we supplemented with fluoride tablets--not a cavity between them.
Every time we go to the pedi dentist he is seeing at least one kid pro-bono. Usually a kid with 8, 9, as many as ELEVEN cavities in baby teeth. This is a combo of poor diet/ education (Latino immigrants think nothing of giving babies soda and putting them to bed with bottles), poor dental hygiene, and lack of fluoride. These kids have to be put under general anesthesia in the outpatient surgery center to have teeth pulled. It's a huge problem in our county, exacerbated by the lack of dental care through Medi-Cal (Medicaid in other states). But lack of fluoride is definitely a contributing factor. We were fortunate and insured well enough to have good prenatal care (I supplemented fluoride during pregnancy) and good pediatric dental care for our kids.
There's a movement to try to fluoridate county water but much pushback from people who are blind to these kids because they can afford their plastic Brita filters or bottled water if they don't want fluoride.
Fluoride is absolutely everywhere these days and unfortunately kids are getting way too much. My daughter has had the white spots on her teeth as well and yet I am still having to turn down fluoride applications at school and at the dentist because the so-called experts don't seem to realize what is happening. It's in city water, toothpaste and even bottled drinks that have been prepared using city water supplies have it. You should absolutely turn it down.
My kids and I used to have cavities every time we went to the dentist, until I took us all OFF fluoride a few years ago. We use flouride free SPRY toothpaste. And Periowash mouth rinse. Never had a cavity since~