The Great Fluoride Debate: Are Children Getting Too Much?

 Is it possible children are getting too much?To reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay, artificial fluoride has been added to public drinking water supplies since 1945. Today, fluoride is also available in many commercial toothpastes, but is it possible we are getting too much?

To be honest, without even completely knowing why, I have avoided toothpaste with fluoride since my son started brushing his teeth. I had heard about the potential harms of too much fluoride in children, including neurotoxicity and tooth discoloration.

In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), recommends using only a “pea-sized” amount of fluoridated toothpaste with children under age six while also monitoring for enamel fluorosis, or white spots on their tiny teeth (for children under the age of three only a “rice-sized” amount should be used). In the spirit of being an informed parent and consumer, I decided that it was finally time to dig deeper into the issue.

Here’s a Little History: 

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is found in rocks and soil. Artificial fluoride has been added to the public water supply since the 1940’s in an effort to reduce dental caries. Many water supplies, therefore, contain both natural and artificial fluoride.

Related: What You Should Know About Your Child’s Dental Health

In the 1980’s the Environmental Protection Agency requested that the U.S. Surgeon General identify an “appropriate margin of safety” for fluoride. A scientific committee found no significant harm to health up to 8 mg/L of fluoride, yet recommend an even lower amount of exposure (2 mg/L) to reduce the risk of osteosclerosis (abnormal hardening of bone) and enamel fluorosis.

In 2015, The United States Public Health Service determined a recommended ratio of fluoride to water, calibrated at 0.7 parts per million.

Why Some Folks Are Concerned:

  • Lifelong exposure to fluoride at 4 mg/L or more may result in bone fracture risk
  • Certain populations (such as those with renal disease) are more likely to build up fluoride in their bones while other populations, such as athletes, may consume larger amounts of fluoridated water to stay hydrated
  • Fluoride may also be found in pesticides, pharmaceuticals, Teflon pans, and foods and beverages made with fluoridated water
  • Adding fluoride to drinking water is often viewed as being imposed on the public versus a choice
  • Only 50% of the fluoride we consume is excreted by our kidneys. Fluoride may “build up” in our tissues and our pineal gland. The pea-sized pineal gland is found in the brain and is associated with melatonin production. It also is known as our Third Eye Chakra in the Hindu system. While more research must be done, higher fluoride levels appear to be associated with a higher degree of pineal calcification
  • Studies have linked high intakes of fluoride to cancer risk, thyroid disease, and cardiovascular risks to name a few
  • Some assert that research shows little difference in the rate of dental caries among children in countries that fluoridate water versus those in countries where they do not

What Our Dentists and Doctors Might Say:

Related: Baby Teeth Are Helping Scientists Understand Autism

More and more parents are refusing fluoride treatments for their children. Many dentists identify this as a “growing problem.”

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children from six months of age to 16-years old receive fluoride supplementation in diet or in drinking water to help prevent tooth decay
  • President of the American Dental Hygienist’s Association recommends fluoride for “almost everyone,” especially those deemed as high risk for dental caries as it strengthens tooth enamel and reverses tooth decay
  • A Dental Director from the University of North Carolina states that fluoride is an important strategy for cavity prevention between visits to the dentist’s office
  • The American Dental Association asserts that fluoride in our water supply is safe and reduces tooth decay by 25%. You can find the 2018 copy of Fluoridation Facts here.

After reviewing the information I found, I have a much clearer stance on both the topical use and ingestion of fluoride for myself and my family. I recommend discussing the issue with your own dental care provider and assessing your own risks based on your consumption of fluoridated water, the nutritional quality of diet, and other oral-care regimens that you may follow. 


3 thoughts on “The Great Fluoride Debate: Are Children Getting Too Much?”

  1. Sodium Fluoride is the substance used in glass etching crafts. Fluoride is rat poison. This poison is used in our commercial dentifrices to control dental cavities since the 1940s.

    In the past 70 years, dentistry is still a thriving profession. They are NOT going out of business.

    Use some common sense.

    Fluoride is a scam. Why is it in our water system? My lawn does not have a fluoride deficiency. This mass dosing of the population should raise our concerns, but we are too drugged to figure it out.

    Have you seen the hazmat outfit the water workers wear when they put that crap in your water supply?

    1. Lisa Adams – What exactly is your point? Chlorine gas has been used a chemical weapon, and it is often used as a water disinfectant. Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is a poison and also a common drinking water disinfectant. In fact all of the chemicals used to treat drinking water so it is safe and protects the health of citizens are poisons when concentrated, but they are regulated to be within safe levels in the treated water.

      You and other fluoridation opponents (FOs) have no understanding that virtually all chemicals are poisonous at high enough exposure levels, even those that are beneficial and essential at lower exposure levels like, water, oxygen, vitamins, sodium, potassium, selenium, caffeine, iodine, chlorine, fluorine, etc.

      FOs also seem not to understand that there are many causes of dental decay, and there are numerous preventive measures. Not everyone gets cavities, and some unlucky individuals regularly get cavities despite taking all precautions. That does not mean that fluoridation is ineffective at reducing dental decay in a population. 70+ years of scientific studies continue to support the scientific consensus that fluoridation is safe and effective.

      That is the reason over 100 national and international science and health organizations (and their thousands of members) continue to recognize the public health benefit of fluoridation as a safe and effective method to reduce dental decay and associated health problems. That is also the reason there are no nationally or internationally recognized science/health organizations that support the anti-F propaganda. No reputable science or health organizations support the anti-F opinions.
      ~> Search on “ada fluoridation facts compendium” and “I like my teeth – what do water fluoridation supporters say?”

      Use some common sense.

      FOs have no legitimate scientific evidence to support their irrational paranoia of fluoride ions or change the scientific consensus that fluoridation is safe and effective. Consequently, they must “adjust” or fabricate the evidence so it appears to support their fear-laced propaganda and scare the public into accepting their agenda.

      Fluoridation is not a scam, The scammers are FOs who use disingenuous, fear-mongering techniques tp promote their paranoia.
      ~> Search on: water fluoridation health monitoring report for England 2018
      ~> Read the: 2016 World Health Organization report , Fluoride and Oral Health

  2. What is my point?

    You never addressed any of my points except to deliver the standard “all reputable” sources argument and calling me an FO.

    Very unscientific.

    Israel has removed fluoride from its water supply. Many municipalities have disbanded their fluoride programs for mass medicating their people. Portland, OR?

    Why aren’t dentists going out of business? People are still getting dental cavities despite fluoride ridden dentifrices, fluoride tablets, fluoride in vitamin pills, and in the water supply.

    Why does my lawn need fluoride?

    Why does the worker who puts the sodium fluoride in the water supply wear astronaut outfit while putting the poison in our water supply. I put chlorine in my pool and I do not have to wear an outfit like that.

    Why do we have to medicate everyone in the community against dental cavities? While dental cavities are a disease most of us have, it is not contagious, it is not fatal, and cavities are easily repaired. Not everyone is cavity prone. Not every one needs the same amount of fluoride. What about people with diabetes or kidney disease? Finally, there is a terrible danger and precedent that the state is setting by mass medicating the populace by law. Perhaps someday the case can be made for birth control in the water supply. What about the Nuremburg Code? The UN has policies against using people for an experiment against their will or without their knowledge.

    Ever see THX 1138? Fantasy yes, but based on current trends…

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