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Fluoride Is CRUCIAL for Healthy Tooth Development in Children

Do you know what kids just love? Dentists. Do you know what parents just love? Dental bills. Do you know what kids that grow up to be parents love? Dealing with the repercussions of not using basic, mouth-hygiene practice when they were younger.

Do you know what the number one way you as a parent can prevent your kids from having cavities, gum issues, and tooth decay? Fluoride.

That’s right. Smack a big ol’ glob of regular toothpaste on your child’s Sesame Street or Frozen toothbrush and get to work. Afterward, have your kid take a few swigs of fluoride-laced city water to complete your kid’s morning and night brushing routine.

To be fair, I’m not a dentist. However, I have orthodontists in my family. My best friend is a dental hygienist. My mom’s best friend is a pediatric dentist. And – having a toddler myself – I have spent significant time researching the topic of dental health because (seriously) who wants a child with painful tooth decay? Not me. And If my three-year-old understood what tooth decay meant, he would likely say he doesn’t want it either.

Let’s just clear up this whole “Boogie Man” myth surrounding fluoride, shall we? First of all, fluoride is a natural element that is found in a plethora of things in nature. Low concentrations of fluoride are found in all types of water: seawater, fresh water, rainwater, and even many water systems supplied by counties and cities.

Yes. Fluoride consumption in high doses can be toxic – no argument there. But, when discussing things like toxicity in relation to what we as humans use, consume, and can withstand, it’s really important that we take into account quantity. Alcohol – for instance – can be life-threatening if consumed in large quantities. But, in small quantities, we can drink it, have a nice buzz, then our bodies filter the alcohol out of our system using advanced and highly-effective filtering processes. Same is true with fluoride.

Here is why fluoride is SO important, especially during early childhood development:

Teeth are naturally porous. Building strong enamel to protect those pores is crucial. When teeth don’t have strong enamel, dental plaque breaks down dietary sugars and produces acid, which can then dissolve weak tooth enamel and dentin, usually resulting in cavities or tooth decay. This is PARTICULARLY true in children. Their teeth are very soft and porous and the enamel is very weak. That’s why it’s important to provide your children with proper tooth maintenance. You want them to develop strong enamel early on to prevent mouth issues later down the road.

Fluoride is THE most effective way to build strong enamel and to prevent acids from corroding the surface of the teeth. It’s the reason that – since the 1940’s – countries throughout the world have artificially added fluoride to their water supplies. No, the government isn’t out to poison your family. They just want to prevent tooth deterioration. In fact, many scientists and dental health professionals believe that a spike in tooth and mouth issues over the last few decades is the result of people not drinking city water – opting for filtered or bottled water, instead.

So, if your family uses a well for their water supply or if you only use filtered water, brushing with fluoride toothpaste is not only recommended – it’s crucial. Some dental professionals would go so far as to say you should add fluoride to your waterline if your children AREN’T consuming small levels of fluoride.

I promise you-you don’t want to be a parent with a 9-year-old who has to deal with severe dental issues because you were too scared that fluoride might be poisonous. I have a few friends who are suffering from the repercussions of using “all natural” toothpaste when their kids were small. It’s painful for your children and it’s painful for your wallet.

*As of 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency proposed changes in the recommended amounts of fluoride in public water supplies to levels to 0.7 milligrams per liter.


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  1. Stephen Moreland

    Of course anyone in the dental industry is going to tell you that fluoride is fine. It’s similar to the tobacco industry telling you for decades that cigarettes don’t harm you. Or the vaccine industry trying to convince you that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines won’t harm you. Can you imagine the uproar if the ADA and others in the industry ac actually mentioned things like:

    You’ll see right on the package that if you swallow “more than is used for brushing” (which for kids is only to be a “pea-size amount”) you’re to call poison control immediately!

    The amounts of it found in most commercial toothpaste brands can be enough to discolor and seriously damage teeth.

    Dental fluorosis is a permanent “defect” in tooth enamel in which it becomes more porous and subject to damage. It’s caused when fluoride is ingested (by drinking fluoridated water or brushing with fluoride toothpaste) while a child’s permanent teeth are forming, appearing as chalky white streaks or dark stains with severe pitting and crumbling. And get this – it can actually lead to tooth decay!

    Originally developed as a way to dispose of the toxic byproducts of the aluminum and fertilizer industries.
    luoride is a neurotoxic substance that can lower a child’s IQ, cause skeletal fluorosis (wherein bones become brittle), and trigger bone fractures by interfering with collagen levels. It’s also known to damage the thyroid gland and is closely linked to cancer, including a rare cancer of the bone in adolescent boys.

    According to the CDC, as of 2004, varying stages of dental fluorosis have affected over 40 percent of kids 12 to 15 in the U.S. – that’s up from a mere 10 percent in 1950, which was before the addition of fluoride to major brands of toothpaste.

  2. Clearly the author of this article on water supply fluoridation has done a poor job of researching modern data on the subject. A highly respected recent study on public water supply fluoridation reports that the rate of tooth decay over the last five decades is about the same in countries that fluoridate their water and in those that don’t! The reason is thought to be that most people are already receive enough fluoride in the food and beverages they normally consume and additional amounts via their water supply are not needed and not recommended for most adults and can be downright dangerous for the elderly. Thus, the EPA has set safety limits on the amount of fluoride that can be measured in public water supplies that are in fact lower than can be shown to have any appreciable effect on reducing tooth decay in the U. S. Further, the source of the added fluorine is usually foreign and is derived from reprocessing dangerous industrial waste products that contain heavy metals and other extremely poisonous contaminants, none of which are specified as being totally absent from their fluorides which are supplied to our water system operators. While fluoridation of U. S. public water supplies may have been justified in the past to reduce tooth decay in the young, it is no longer necessary and poses a real danger to our adult and elderly citizens. The ADA needs to update their policy on fluoridation to acknowledge that encouraging the additional widespread consumption of fluorides by the adult population of our nation is unnecessary and can be downright hazardous to all, even probably the very young.

  3. Carole Mangels

    Fluoride is a neurotoxin and we are all ingesting too much of it. It plays havoc with the thyroid. It is not essential to healthy teeth. I was very involved back in the 80’s getting my water supply in Levittown NY de fluoridated. When we got the doctors and dentists to actually listen and research it many were on board with getting it out of the water. We were successful!!! And that was decades ago. There is so much more research now and most of modernized countries have banned fluoridation.

  4. You solicit replies but when I question the validity of your article on fluoridation, you hold it for “review” which prevents your readers seeing solid, validated research that proves fluoridation of public water supplies is a bad idea in modern times. The reference your reviewer ( and other interested readers) should go to is: .

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