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Fluoride Scare Tactics Online – Separating Fact from Fiction

Posted on August 26th, 2014

Fluoride scare tactics online – separating fact from fiction

Over the last couple of months, we’ve shared with you some interesting facts about Fluoride – from its origins to its fascinating discovery as a preventive for dental decay.

This month, we’ll talk about the scare tactics and the facts surrounding Fluoridated water.  Fluoride has been blamed for dozens of maladies – some deadly and some rather humorous.  Scares and suspicion of conspiracy are rampant on social media and the internet – it works very much like the children’s circle game in which you whisper a secret to the child sitting next to you and by the time it works its way around to the last child, the message is unrecognizable.  What begins as one person’s unscientific opinion uttered on Facebook becomes ‘fact’ as it is shared and embellished upon by others.

Here are some of the diseases and conditions for which Fluoride has been blamed:

Nausea, lower IQ, Cancer, birth defects, auto-immune disease, infertility, kidney disease, premature aging, ADHD, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS.

One hapless (and losing) politician in Great Britain blamed it for low voter turnout.

It has even been blamed for the untimely demise of Goldfish.Fluoride scare tactics online - separating fact from fiction

Has anyone figured out a way to tell if a Goldfish has reached its full life-expectancy?

All minerals, even those necessary for human health, can cause irreparable harm if ingested in large enough quantities.  Salt, essential for human health, can contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.  Selenium, necessary in trace amounts, can cause loss of hair, nails, discolored teeth, and nervous system problems when taken in excess.

We could fill a library with the dangers of taking too much of almost anything.  Even too much water can kill you, yet no one is going to tell you not to drink water. Fluoride scare tactics online are seldom based in fact. It’s up to you as a parent to get objective fact-based information.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry issued the following statements (paraphrased):

  • There is confirmation from evidence-based reviews (real science) that  fluoride for the use of prevention and control of dental caries (decay) is both safe and effective
  • Randomized clinical trials have shown that fluoride supplementation should be considered in children considered ‘at risk’ for dental caries.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) shares their recommendation:

The proper amount of fluoride from infancy through old age helps prevent and control tooth decay. Community water fluoridation is a widely accepted practice for preventing and controlling tooth decay by adjusting the concentration of fluoride in the public water supply.

Fluoride is found in nature.  It exists naturally in nearly all water supplies, as do many other minerals.  The Fluoride added to water supplies, toothpaste, and mouthwashes are done to supply the optimal level of fluoride – just enough to protect our teeth.  In 2011, Federal health officials, after studying extensive scientific research, recommended the optimal level for water fluoridation at 0.7 parts per million.

The addition of Fluoride in safe amounts to our water supplies has reduced the incidence of cavities by over 50 percent over the past 50-plus years.  The reduction has remained steady despite the fact that we consume 62% more sugar now than in 1960.

Science has proven that Fluoride hardens tooth enamel after an exposure to acids in food, and will inhibit the bacterial growth (Streptococcus Mutans) which causes cavities.  Your child’s dentist may recommend treating her teeth with a Fluoride ‘lacquer’ or sealant, to prevent cavities – especially if she is at a higher risk of developing tooth decay.

Our treated water in Nevada County does not have added Fluoride.  In municipalities that do, using Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash in addition to this might be excessive.  Your child’s Pediatric Dentist is the most trusted source of factual information and recommendations.Caring Tree Children's Dentistry and Fluoride scare tactics online - separating fact from fiction

Is too much Fluoride dangerous?  Of course.  Just as iron, copper, selenium and salt can be fine in trace amounts, too much can be harmful.  Do your research, study the science, and talk with your child’s Pediatric Dentist – she’ll have the most up-to-date information and can help you make the right decision for your child.



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