completely unscientific fluoride/sugar poll - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-21-2008, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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My mom and I are having an ongoing debate regarding the safety and merits of fluoridated water - she was a dental nurse in the 1960s-70s and maintains that after fluoridation was introduced into our municipal water supply the cavity rate among kids dropped dramatically. Everything I've read - from both scientific and, er, "less mainstream" sources indicates that ingested fluoride isn't that helpful for cavity prevention, but topical fluoride (ie toothpaste) does work, and sugar/refined starch avoidance works even better.

The thing is, we had all 3 growing up - fluoridated water, fluoride toothpaste AND radical no-sugar parents. So it's hard to tell why my sisters and I still have no cavities in our 30s. (Genetics would NOT be a component in our case as both my parents had really crappy teeth.)

So I want to do a poll to see if that illuminates anything. Please read the choices carefully, and assume that "fluoridated water supply" means that during the time you were under 12 years old, you lived more years with fluoridated water than without. And please - feel free to add in any anecdotes about harm you think that fluoride did you (or the reverse) if you like!

Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).

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#2 of 7 Old 02-21-2008, 02:32 PM
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Just a thought, but fluoride in water IS topical as well as internal...

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#3 of 7 Old 02-21-2008, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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crap I got pulled away from the computer and didn't get to post my poll - so just post if aaargghhhh

Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).

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#4 of 7 Old 02-25-2008, 07:11 AM
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I am in my mid 30's. No cavities. I grew up w/a fluoridated water supply, used toothpaste w/flouride and had sealants. I had access to moderate amounts of sugary foods. No sodas but we did have occasional candy/ice cream,etc.

Both parents have bad teeth but still have them all and my 95 yr old grandfather also still has his real teeth lol. Siblings all have cavities but I was always the "good brusher" of the family whereas they weren't. I think that played a huge part vs the flouride in the water.

I'm personally on the fence for my own children. Our water here in HI is not fluoridated but my children do use fluoridated toothpaste. DD so far has zero cavities but DS now has his first, and the dentist says it's probably due to not flossing since it's down between 2 teeth and basically unreachable by toothbrush.
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#5 of 7 Old 02-27-2008, 09:15 PM
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#6 of 7 Old 03-01-2008, 12:52 AM
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I grew up on well water on a farm. Breast fed till 11 months (still rare in early 70's . lucky me i was smart enough to refuse a bottle! So I got weaned to cows milk in a cup) but there wasn't a huge amount of night nursing once I had teeth. Fed pablum and jarred baby food. No fluoride, chlorine, etc. in our well water or in ingested supplements. I DID get vitamin D supplements as a baby. I did also, however, get the occasional fluoride rinse once I was old enough to spit (I remember them bringing it into the schools...this crazily sweet stuff coloured bright red. We were told NOT to swallow it!) In fact my mom tells me she never bothered brushing my baby teeth...basically waited until I could do it myself. ( I was also a 3rd child on a farm)...

Had no cavities in baby teeth. But definitely cavities in my permanent teeth before I got braces (and learned how to properly brush and floss from a dentist). Haven't had a cavity since! I also had a BIG sweet tooth and, in spite of lots of organically grown farm food, we did have lots of processed stuff, e.g. kraft dinner, white bread.

So - In my 36 yrs I've never lived anywhere where I drank fluoridated water regularly. Dental hygeine has been my tool for healthy teeth (and fluoride in topical form, e.g. toothpaste).
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#7 of 7 Old 03-01-2008, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Sustainer View Post
I skimmed that website. Isn't it logical that some people are getting too much fluoride not from water but from soda and other sources? Also, soda can lead to cavities. Fluoridation of nursery water is also a problem. I would prefer to see those sources eliminated and have fluoride taken out of water but keep the option of fluoride supplements for children. That is what we do.

I grew up with fluoridated water, fluoride toothpaste, normal sugar intake and a grandpa as my dentist so my teeth are, of course, great. I was also nursed for 6 mos and had a lot of milk growing up. No way to ascertain which had most effect.

I figure breastfeed as long as possible, limit sugar and soda, brush teeth with fluoride, visit the dentist once a year, and give developing teeth fluoride tabs to help adult teeth be strong. Research showed us that was the best choice for us.
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