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Kids' Health Kids' Health

The Fluoride Conundrum: Is Fluoride Safe For Kids?

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 9:44 AM
  • 20 Replies

http://www.healthychild.org/blog/comments/fluoride_conundrum_is_fluoride_safe_for_kids/

Healthy Child
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
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By Alexandra Zissu, Editorial Director


Since February is National Children’s Dental Month, we thought we’d revisit fluoride, which tends to confuse most parents.

For decades, it has been dental dogma that fluoridated drinking water is a key part of preventing cavities and building stronger teeth. Yet, when it comes to overall health, its reputation is far murkier.

So is it good or is it bad?

There’s ample evidence that fluoride does benefit teeth. Fluoride toothpastes reduce cavities in kids from 15 to 30 percent and the fluoridation of public water supplies lowers cavity rates up to 40 percent.

But that’s not the end of the story. Environmental health experts point out that while topical fluoride exposures like those from toothpaste and mouthwash appear relatively safe, ingesting fluoride to treat teeth from the inside out has risks.

Evidence backs this up. A recent Harvard study found that fluoride ingestion harmed children’s cognitive abilities and development. And a 2006 National Academy of Sciences report declared it “apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain and the body.”

A key factor appears to be the amount we ingest. Get too much and the risk for fluorosis rises, a condition marked by stained and pitted teeth now suffered by 41 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 15. High fluoride exposure has also been linked to neurological dysfunction, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Overexposure is why the Obama administration is working to lower fluoride levels in the 70 percent of American public water supplies treated with this chemical.

Even so, it will remain difficult to control fluoride intake because it’s also found in foods like bottled beverages, infant formula, produce, and dairy products made with fluoridated water—and from animals raised on it.

Ultimately it’s up to parents to make the call if their kids will use additional fluoride beyond the water they’re drinking in areas with treated supplies. Whether your family brushes with fluoride-free toothpaste and sips filtered drinking water or not, keep in mind that while the risk of fluorosis decreases after age 9, potential neurological effects remain. As with many parenting decisions, this one isn’t black and white.



Read more: http://www.healthychild.org/blog/comments/fluoride_conundrum_is_fluoride_safe_for_kids/#ixzz2KJpsaSP4

by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 9:44 AM
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Replies (1-10):
TigerofMu
by Sonja on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Wow.  I knew about flouride in the water, but not all the other details.

new_mom808
by Andrea on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:58 AM

 We drink tap (flourinated) water, but buy flouride free toothpaste. Hopefully it's not too much, but not too little.

PrincessZ20
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Nothing is good for you anymore, goodness!

We don't use extra fluoride, but don't go out of our way to avoid it either.

TerriC
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 2:35 PM

 Same here.  I didn't realize it was in so many things.


Quoting TigerofMu:

Wow.  I knew about flouride in the water, but not all the other details.


 

SarahSuzyQ
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM
We have a well, so our water isn't fluorinated... I use flouride-free toothpaste, but DH and DS use fluoride.
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LntLckrsCmQut
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 6:05 PM

We avoid fluoride as much as possible.

AimeeE
by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 3:08 AM

I don't thing fluoride is safe for anyone....kids or adults.

mhmomma
by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 8:54 AM

We have well water so no fluoride. My kids did take vitamins with fluoride as babies. Now they only use toothpaste with fluoride. My dd gets one fluoride treatment a year. My ds has tummy issues so we haven't done the treatment yet. It does upset tummy. I thin in small doses its ok. My kids have good teeth

karamille
by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 1:25 PM

We do topical flouride and try to avoid ingested flouride as much as possible.  

Vertical15
by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 1:33 PM

 Same here.


Quoting TigerofMu:

Wow.  I knew about flouride in the water, but not all the other details.


 

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