My Thoughts on Fluoride

We live in one of the freak towns that doesn’t have fluoride in the water.

My kids have both already had cavities, so I want to make sure to follow our pediatrician/dentist recommendation to get them fluoride pills, but it hasn’t been so easy. So we don’t have to wait in line at the pharmacy every month, we had been getting our pills from Express Scripts, but we changed insurance, so now we can only use Walgreens online pharmacy. This has proved to be quite the challenge.

Walgreens would not allow me to add the kids to my pharmacy account until I placed an order with physical pharmacy, so I did this first.

The local pharmacy would not fill the medication because they covered only drops but not pills unless they got “extra info” from our pediatrician. After a week, this was not received. Our giant peds practice did not know somehow that this info was being requested. Finally, we just paid $11 each out of pocket for the month’s worth of pills.

I was still unable to add the kids online to the pharmacy and had to call to do it.

I then asked the pediatrician to call in the pills to Walgreens online. They assumed that was the same as Express Scripts and called it in there. I assure you, they are not the same.

I called the pediatrician’s office again and convinced them that Walgreens and Express Scripts were not the same. I gave them the fax number for Walmart, and they said they had to look it up themselves. I suggested calling the adult branch of their practice, which I know uses Walmart online. They said they weren’t allowed to do this.

A week later, I got a letter from Walgreens saying that our prescription plan would not cover the 1 mg fluoride pills. So they would not fill it.

I called my health insurance. They said the reason they wouldn’t cover it was because they only covered 0.5 mg pills but not 1 mg pills. So I needed to call the pediatrician to ask them to write for 0.5 mg pills and they would cover that. And the cost would be $25 for a month, and $60 for a 90-day supply from Walgreens online.

I was like, “WTF? It was $11 to pay out of pocket for the pills! How could it be more expensive if the insurance is paying for it???”

It took me a while to wrap my head around this one. The copay for any med is $25, so I have to pay that no matter what, even if the drug is cheaper than that. Insurance is quite a racket.

Finally, I called Walgreens and asked how much it would be if I paid out of pocket for the 90 day supply. It would be $13 apparently. So I said I’d just pay for the fluoride myself.

To date, I still don’t have the fluoride. I don’t know what other hurdles I will have to go through to get fluoride. I can’t even imagine the hurdles people who are on like ten meds have to go through.

Thank God it’s only fluoride. If it were a real med, they’d be dead by now.

Me: “Fluoride pills should just be over the counter.”

Mr. McFizz; “No! It’s not safe to sell over the counter! It’s only safe to dump in the drinking water.”

Originally on Dr. Fizzy’s Blog.

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Dr. Fizzy

Freida McFadden is a midwestern physician who has finally finally finally come to the end of her grueling medical training, and at last she has enough time to publish the wealth of cartoons she's created over the years. If you enjoy them, please comment. If you don't enjoy them, then you can just keep your fool mouth shut. Read the rest at, and make sure to check out her books, A Cartoon Guide To Becoming A Doctor, and The Devil You Know, on Amazon!