A new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds once again that, contrary to what most people have been told, fluoride is actually bad for teeth.
Exposure to high levels of fluoride results in a condition known as fluorosis, in which tooth enamel becomes discolored. The condition can eventually lead to badly damaged teeth. The new study found that fluoride intake during a child’s first few years of life is significantly associated with fluorosis, and warned against using fluoridated water in infant formula.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is of a similar opinion. According to their website:
“Recent evidence suggests that mixing powdered or liquid infant formula concentrate with fluoridated water on a regular basis may increase the chance of a child developing … enamel fluorosis.”
It was 2007 when the American Dental Association (ADA) first warned that parents of infants younger than a year old “should consider using water that has no or low levels of fluoride” when mixing baby formula, due to concerns about fluorosis.
Now the Journal of the American Dental Association has published a study that found increased fluorosis risk among infants who were fed infant formula reconstituted with fluoride-containing water, as well as used fluoridated toothpastes.
The authors noted:
“Results suggest that prevalence of mild dental fluorosis could be reduced by avoiding ingestion of large quantities of fluoride from reconstituted powdered concentrate infant formula and fluoridated dentifrice.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also followed suit, warning on their Community Water Fluoridation page that mixing powdered or liquid infant formula concentrate with fluoridated water on a regular basis may increase the chance of a child developing enamel fluorosis.
They also state:
“In children younger than 8 years of age, combined fluoride exposure from all sources—water, food, toothpaste, mouth rinse, or other products—contributes to enamel fluorosis.”
This is as far as the CDC warnings go, however, and they continue to state that water fluoridation is safe — and dental fluorosis is only a “cosmetic” problem. In reality, neither of these assertions is true.
Dental fluorosis results in white and brown spots on your teeth. It is only caused by fluoride — typically due to ingesting too much fluoride during your developing years, from birth to about 8 years of age. According to the CDC, about one-third of U.S. children aged 12 to 15 years have very mild to mild forms of enamel fluorosis on their teeth.
Promoters of fluoridation say that these markings are “just cosmetic,” but it can also be an indication that the rest of your body, such as your bones and the rest of your organs, including your brain, has been exposed to too much fluoride also.
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