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Fluoride: Yay or Nay?

If you monitored urbanMamas back in May, how could you forget Sarah's child's plight with nursing caries?  The topic was mostly centered around tooth decay, but a couple of mamas mentioned their stance on fluoride.  Jackie recently sent us a question regarding fluoride and what better time than the present to query the urbanMamas-at-large about your opinion.  She writes:

...I have a 6 month old, whose pediatrician just informed us we need to be giving her a fluoride supplement. I am very leery of giving her any sort of supplement (we didn't give her the vitamin D they recommended), especially fluoride, which I know there is much controversy about. However, I also don't want to be neglectful of her dental health, so I am a bit unsure of what to do at this point. I am curious what other mamas have done in this situation, or if anyone has read some reliable research about fluoride that could help me make a decision about this. Any thoughts on this are much appreciated!!!

Let's hear it mamas, do you give your child fluoride?


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I really did not waver on giving my child fluoride. I did ask my mother-in-law who is a dentist in Germany; she says that they do the same there (and they are very naturapathic in Germany).

I personally think that it is bad that the water here is not fluoridated, as it was and is in most of the country.

I myself am terrified of caries in my young 14 month old....having to deal with getting rotten teeth fixed is much more worrisome that giving her fluoride which I myself had as a child (and most other people in the country...)

That is my take. As you might possibly guess, I am pro-vaccinations too. I anticipate that peoples feelings on this issue may fall down similar lines.

I give it, too. Now that we're working on brushing teeth, rather than toothpaste we dip the toothbrush into some fluoride rinse (Act). I reason much the same way as Rebecca.

I've read the news stories, too. I do have some concerns, but as a native Portlander I always had it drilled into my head that we needed extra flouride because our water has so little. Both my brother and I had supplements all the while we were growing up, probably until we hit middle or high school. Teeth and gums are one of those "things" that I worry about so we have given Clara flouride (though the prescription ran out--doh!). If a kid is swallowing flouride toothpaste, though, s/he probably doesn't need the extra prescription.

ack! sore subject. i didn't give Everett flouride, partly because I didn't know if it was a good idea, partly because he didn't like it. we just went to the dentist and received a quite extreme talking-to -- Everett's baby teeth are in bad shape and we've been instructed to start flouride immediately.

if I had to do it all over again, I'd do flouride every day, just like a good girl, and brush his teeth way more! boy are Truman's teeth getting good treatment :)

I'm very glad that fluoride is not in our water here. It's a testimate to Portland's great concern and efforts to keep our drinking water free of harmful substances. I'd rather a parent have the personal freedom to introduce fluoride to their child, rather than have my baby drinking glass after glass after glass of fluoride laden water. How would you even measure how much fluoride had been consumed in a day?

Fluoride is a pretty scary substance, and I don't know if the "I had it when I was a kid", "they have it all over the world" arguments are adequate when it comes to something so potentially dangerous. There are many other toxic substances that could fall into this argument...

Do a google search for "is Fluoride dangerous" and "is Fluoride safe" and spend a couple of hours reading what comes up. If you start giving the baby fluoride and THEN do the research, you may make yourself very very sad.

(For the sake of science: I am generally pro-vax.)

just as a question for those who do not give the fluoride supplement...do you yourself use fluoridated toothpaste?

I don't, but I wouldn't care that much if I did. My teeth are done developing, as are my bones, organs, and brain. Toxins are more devastating for children than they are for adults; is that in question?

I struggled with this decision as well (and still do). I had researched the negative effects of fluoride, as well as the positive. I am very grateful that we don't have fluoridated water - it's better that everyone can decide for themselves. I decided to give half the amount recommended by the doctor, on my own schedule (occasionally) and be vigilant on keeping sweet foods out of my daughter's diet. I think my husband would have preferred no fluoride treatments at all. The typical American diet is full of sugar! I had checked out some books from the library on this subject. I don't remember the name, but one was by a couple of dentists who recommended a healthy, low sugar, whole food diet instead of fluoride treatments. There are so many benefits of a low sugar diet and healthy teeth is just one of them.

I give my 10-month old fluoride, and wish it were in the water in Portland so that this evening ritual could be eliminated. I have looked into the research (and I work as a professional health researcher). I would advise anyone looking into this issue to consult "review articles" in peer-reviewed journals, as these articles are designed to digest the many, many studies on this topic. You can always find individual studies that will support a particular viewpoint (statistically, once a given number of studies are performed, you will be able to find a differing results simply "by chance"). Therefore, it is the full scope of evidence that must be considered. Articles that are designed to review the body of literature on a subject, and that are published in peer-reviewed journals, are key to understanding a given topic.

The main U.S. professional clinicial organizations and public health entities support fluoridation of water:




As does the World Health Organization:


We all know that the "prevailing medical wisdom" is that fluoride is good for kids. But since the medical community has told us that same thing about a myriad of other things we know have serious effects, its worth spending a little time researching the issue yourself. A good place to start even for those of you who think fluoride maybe a good thing is http://www.fluoridealert.org/health/index.html

What's timely about this conversation is that just this summer two major scientific reports that came out that should be enough to convince anyone of this. The first is a study from a group of Harvard medical researchers who published the most comprehensive study to date on the link between fluoride and bone cancer to date. Since we have know for over a decade that fluoride can increase cell growth in bones (fluoride has been used to treat osteoporosis for ex, but is now known to make bones brittle and is used much less) there's long been suspicions about fluoride and bone cancer. What the Harvard study found was up to a 500% increased risk of bone cancer in boys who drank fluoridated water.

You can read the Wall Street Journal article about the study at
http://www.fluoridealert.org/news/2323.html which came out before the study was acutally published or the Web MD on line story at http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/120/113995.htm

Also this summer, a major report
from the National Academy of Sciences (Natural Research Council) and it recommend lowering maximum contaminant levels for fluoride concentrations in drinking water because of its associated health threats. Dentists had argued the current standard was safe and the Academy of Sciences disagreed to say the least. You can see incredble excerpts of the 300 plus page study that reviews scientific studies linking fluoride with everything from decreased IQ in kids to Alzheimers in seniors. See

You can see the Portland Tribune's story re this report at http://www.fluoridealert.org/news/2566.html

Some fluoride advocates have tried to dismiss this study but since its from the most respected scientific body in the U.S. that's been hard to do. In the wake of the study half of the U.S. EPA's employee unions in the County issued a call for a moratorium on water fluoridation pending further study. I'm not a scientist but if half the EPA scientists are concerned about fluoride I'm glad I didn't give it to either of my boys.

For years I thought the anti-fluoride crowd were just conspiracy theorists, but the evidence is really building. We faced an effort to fluoridate Hood River's water and after I started reading about fluoride it was clear the risks outweighed the benefits, especially since all the new dental research is showing that fluoride works topically - like in toothpastes or mouthwash- but has little to no benefit from being swallowed. That's why Canada has virtually stopped prescribing fluoride supplements.

I'd echo others and recommend spending a little time researching the issue for yourself.

Thanks for all that info. Bernadette! Considering that there are benefits to using fluoride topically, I wonder when I can begin brushing my baby's lone tooth with fluoridated toothpaste? I waited too long with my son and he has had several cavities. (He had a low sugar diet and all, but his enamel was weak and he could've used the help.) So I am planning to do it with my little one, but I wonder, how soon is too soon? Anyone?

My pleasure- it's interesting stuff especially since most dentists don't know much about fluoride other than what they learned in school many years ago.

For brushing with fluoride I think the general rule is that you don't want to use fluoride toothpaste until kids have the swallow reflexes to spit it out because the impacts of regularly swallowing toothpaste can be serious and result in "fluorosis" ie. fluoride poisoining. If you do a Google image search you can see pictures of what kids teeth who have fluorosis looks like. The topical benefits of fluoride toothpaste are real, but the concentration of fluoride in toothpaste is 1,500 parts per million as opposed to 1 part per million in drinking water and that's why there's the label on the back of most toothpaste tubes that says if you swallow more than a pea sized amount you should call the poison control center.

For young kids regular brushing, flossing, dental cleanings, and a low sugar diet are the best bets for avoiding cavities especially given the growing body of info about the risks of fluoride.

Leopoldo has about 8 cavities at age 2.5, plus one front tooth that already rotted away. This isn't a result of diet, as my two other kids have zero cavities, but a combination of genes and nursing at night until age two. Dr. Alan Pike has been very adamant about fluoride toothpaste FOUR times a day on the tongue "the size of a grain of rice" plus topical treatment every 2 months "or else we'll have to take him to the hospital, put him under and fill those cavities." Are there any other Dr. Pike patients out there who have seen actual results from this approach? I appreciate Dr. Pike's mission to avoid dental work on toddlers to prevent dentist phobia, but is he going too far?

We give both our sons fluoride supplements as well. The consensus appears to be that fluoride in large doses is toxic and can have detrimental effects. I whole-heartedly agree. But the anti-cavity fighting topical benefits should not be discounted. For our older son, our dentist recommended we take a cotton swab lightly dipped in Act and hold it for ten seconds up to the part of one of his teeth that appear to be showing discloration, early signs of tooth decay. This is an alternative to using fluoridated toothpaste.

Genes play a huge part in whether or not a person gets dental caries. I grew up in Portland and my sibs and I have very strong enamel that causes dentists to guess that we grew up somewhere that had fluoridated water. My husband also has had no fillings so we are guessing our children will benefit from good genes. We gave our daughter fluoride supplements occasionally (couple times a week) in her first 18 months because her teeth were developing so rapidly below the gums, have been vigilant about brushing with fluoride-free paste since her teeth appeared (at 4 months!) and flossing. Now at 3.5 years her teeth are perfect. We are working on spitting and will switch her to fluoride paste soon.

My recommendation to friends who have asked me is to look at family history, be aggressive about brushing and flossing (there were times when I had to sit on my daughter with her arms pinned to her sides but not brushing was not an option), and take your children to the dentist early to have an evaluation of the risks (Kaiser recommends the first check-up at 3 years but we put our daughter on our dental coverage and took her in when she had 8 teeth). If your children have high risk, take the supplement, if not, use your best judgement.

For the record, I am pro-vaccination, pro dental care and education, and strongly anti-fluoride-in-the-municipal-water-supply.

To Zoe (and possibly other Dr. Pike patients with the same question),

We've shared our dental drama with Mila a couple times on this site, basically she had a number of cavities by 12 months and Dr. Pike was a life-saver in addressing the problem.

He instructed us to do the same toothpaste method that he is recommending for you. At some point we were able to stop the toothpaste application and just brush her teeth twice daily - I can't remember when that happened so it must have been quite a while ago.

It is now more than three years since our first office visit with Dr. Pike and Mila has suffered no additional tooth decay.

I don't think the amount of flouride that Mila may have ingested as part of this treatment was excessive. It was defintely less than she would have ingested if we had used the flouride supplement prescribed by the first dentist we visited (one of the many reasons we sought a second opinion and found Dr. Pike).

It's impossible to live a fluoride-free life. All foods and beverages have a fluoride content - even chicken baby food which is made with mechanically de-boned chicken.

Fluoride stores in bones as well as teeth. The chicken's fluoridated bone dust invariably gets into the finished product when it is de-boned by machine.

In fact, researchers warn that children can be fluoride overdosed if they eat a jar of this each day.
Children can also get fluoride overdosed if they simply drink grape juice every day.

Some grape juices have high amounts of fluoride because cryolite (a fluoride containing pesticide) residues remain on the fruit and there's much more surface area on the amount of grapes it takes to make juice.

Fluoride is neither a nutrient nor required for healthy teeth. There is no such thing as a fluoride deficiency.

In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control tell us that from 1/2 to 1/3 of US school children are fluoride overdosed and have dental fluorosis - white spotted, yellow or brown and sometimes pitted teeth.

You can find out how much fluoride is in foods here: (the first is a government site)



New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.

Fluoridation News Releases

Tooth Decay Crises in Fluoridated Areas

Fluoride Action Network

Wow...thanks for Dr. Pike's ACT idea with the cotton swab. I am excited to have something I can do that is proactive. Then if my little one gets caries too, at least I'll know I've done everything I could. (In my personal experience, guilt can be pretty toxic too.) Thanks for all the stories.

Just to add to the mix, I work in the field of infectious diseases, and there are also serious health risks associated with dental caries...not just confined to the teeth. The mouth of persons with poor dental hygiene is the source of bacteria that give rise to infections on heart valves...known as endocarditis...and also the source of fevers and/or sepsis in persons who are immunocompromised for some reason. I have a great respect for dental caries now after a few years in this field...and I think that it is an absolute crime that state fundend insurance programs typically provide no dental benefits.

I personally have made an appointment with Dr Pike for my daughter at 14 months...because i paid for insurance for her. I figure that it is never too early.

I think that prevention is key..... I grew up on a hobby farm in MN where well water (no fluoride) was the only option. My parents were great about the dentist, no candy, and frequent brushing. But issues arrise and I ended up having MANY cavities and many not so pleasant experiences at the dentist. As a result, I HATE the dentist. My sister is worse and has not gone to the dentist in 7 years. My husband "forces" me to go once a year. My husband grew up in the burbs---had fluoride----and had few dental problems. He loves going to the dentist and was insulted when the Kaiser dentist stated he probley did not need to see the dentist 2X a year.
I just hope that my daughter loves going to the dentist like my husband and does not need to take a valium like me before visiting.....

I moved back to MN almost a month ago.....and I miss Portland

We are giving fluoride (when we remember it!). My hubby has a mouth of cavities, whereas I am fortunate to be the opposite - but don't know how the kids will turn out. So, we're doing it for cavity prevention (and yes, my mom frequently says "your teeth are so good because you had fluoride supplements" which I don't all together agree with - I do think genes play a big role). Which reminds me, I probably should get my 3 yr old into the dentist, right?

For those that are at all hesitant for inconvenience reasons - just wanted to say, both my kids (3 & 1 yr old) LOVE the stuff. I don't understand it, but they are both very eager to take it whenever offered. I usually have to instruct them that they only get 1 dropper a day!

I absolutely do not give my 3 year old son fluoride tablets. Many dentists now recognizes (and even the CDC admits) that fluoride's benefits (if any) are topical and not systemic. There are no studies showing long-term use of ingested fluoride compounds is safe for human health. Moreover, 32% of American children suffer from dental fluorosis, a permanent scarring of the teeth, due to excess fluoride exposure.

Fluoride tablets and fluoridation of drinking water supplies is not a substitute for a good diet and proper dental care.

If you live in an area that is artificially fluoridated, you may also want to know that in May of this year, a Harvard scientist published in a peer reviewed journal that boys who drink water with levels considered safe by federal guidelines are five times more likely to develop a rare bone cancer than boys who drink unfluoridated water. In March 2006, the National Research Council issued a major study linking fluoride exposure to bone fracture, joint pain, and disruption of the nervous and endocrine systems, including the brain, thyroid and pineal glands. Eleven U.S. EPA Unions, representing over 7000 professional employees, are calling for a nationwide moratorium on fluoridation and a congressional investigation of this policy.

For more information, check out http://fluoridealert.org/ and


AS a Cosmetic and Family Dentist with Masters in Nutrition, I need to shout and screem: Do NOT give your infant or child fluoride supplements or fluoridated water.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dental Association, and all major scientific organizations feel mother's milk at 0.004ppm of fluoride is correct and no fluoride supplements or fluoridated water should be used for infants.
If a mother/father mixes fluoridated water with formula they are giving 250 times more fluoride to the baby than mother's milk.
Fluoride at low levels appears to contribute to many diseases: thyroid/obesity/diabetes, bone cancer, ugly teeth, reduced IQ, increase in mental retardation, and more.

The worst news is that fluoride ingested does not appear to reduce tooth decay. Therefore it does no good and it does harm.

Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH
Aesthetic Dentistry of Bellevue

I've spent a fair amount of time looking at this issue, and from what I understand, individual children's predisposition to caries can vary, and therefore an individual's caries rates are not strictly a function of fluoride exposure, dental care and diet. So reasoning that one child had a lot of cavities, and therefore the explanation must be lack of fluoride, is not exactly true.

As far as supplements, scanning the medical literature shows that pediatricians in many countries are turning away from fluoride supplements, which according to the Journal of the American Dental Association are not effective at fighting cavities.

People on both the pro and con sides of water fluoridation tend to confuse these issues, but the case *against* kids ingesting fluoride supplements is far more developed and scientifically accepted than it is against other delivery methods of fluoride. Some doctors and dentists, through lack of continuing education, laziness or whatever, are unaware of how solid and non-controversial the case against supplements has become.

FWIW, one of the little-known cavity fighters out there that parents might want to check out is the natural sweetener called xylitol. I've spoken with a top university caries researcher who is a fan; says the reason it is little-known is that while its health benefits are recognized in Canada, they are not by the U.S. FDA. Found in some gum (only the traditional trident, among the big-brand gums) and some toothpastes. Here is a website which looks quack-ish in terms of presentation but which alludes to some studies which apparently claim xylitol can have long-term caries prevention effects when children use it early.


The latter effect (the sustained one) is not something I'd heard until I saw that site, but as far as the short-term caries prevention effects of xylitol, my understanding is that the evidence is very strong.

Dr. Osmunson,

Would your rationale for not advocating flouride be a self-serving one, ie., more bad teeth, better your business?

To those parents who are anti-vaccination, anti-fluoride, fine, that's your perogative to do what you think is best for your child. But please pay for the consequences yourself. If your child needs more dental work, please don't submit your dental bill to your insurance company as then I am subsidizing your decision. And if your child needs a mechanical respirator because it hasn't been vaccinated against polio, well, pay for your own respirator.

Ouch! We don't always fully agree with everything we read on this site but we have always been impressed by and have greatly appreciated the respectful discussion we have seen here.

We are hopeful that this particular "rational" comment doesn't result in a pulling down of the level of discourse to unnecessary personal attacks. There are enough of those types of unproductive missives out there and plenty of other sites to support folks who want to communicate in that manner.

Peace out!

Here! Here! Thanks Milagros!

Also, if you want to look at the xylitol/caries research without the quackish-ness, go to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/) and search "xylitol caries" (without the "") to read the abstracts of peer-reviewed articles.

I see that Dr. Osmunson (a few posts back) practices in Bellevue, WA, and thus I wonder if Dr. Osmunson was referring to recommended practices in areas with fluoridated water? I did a cursory check and see that the ADA does recommend supplements for infants in non-fluoridated areas (they go so far as to state recommended dosages). I didn't bother to look into the other organizations he mentions. See: www.ada.org/public/topics/fluoride/fluoride_article01.asp#systemic

That said, I would now like to slightly amend my previous comment/posting. Seeing the strength of people's views on this matter, I would NOT now state that I "wish it (fluoride) were in the water in Portland". Even though I am choosing to give fluoride to my own child, I respect that there is enough debate on the matter that the ingestion of the substance may be left to individual, parental decision. So long as there is a method for me to provide it to my own son, I suppose I shouldn't force my decision onto others. This is always a tricky issue -- which of your beliefs you wish were "legislated" and which you think are ok left for each person to decide. The more I read the postings here, the more this falls into the latter. Sort of like the fact that I am a vegetarian, my husband is not, and that has always been ok with me.

What an interesting discussion. I want to applaud the openmindedness from those of you who want to give fluoride to your kids but respect the rights of others who choose differently. After looking into this topic for several years however and reading The Fluoride Deception, which is meticulously documented with substantial bibliography etc. I beg you to stop giving any extra fluoride to your children and then look deeper at the current research. Fluoride is a potent carcinogen and actually weakens bones and teeth over a lifetime.
Worldwide the trend is to stop over exposing people to fluoride. Some European nations have banned fluoride supplements completely. They have solid reasons. Check it out.
Mothers' milk will filter fluoride out even up to extremely high levels. The mother's body goes to great lengths to prevent babies from ingesting fluoride.
And if you look at pre-processed food nutrition globally, people did not get dental carries, regardless of their genetics.
If we say we take health seriously, then we have to take nutrition seriously and get rid of processed foods for our families.
Check out the Weston A Price Foundation for more info on Real Food. Turns out Butter is good for us! (unless we're allergic to dairy of course! ) Hooray.

Thanks for all the input but now I am thoroughly confused! Through a lack of urgency and forgetfulness on my part, I have a full container of Flourabon prescribed to my son at his 6 month appointment. He is now 15 months and I just started to brush his teeth with a baby toothpaste. I was considering using the prescription but now I don't know if I should. Would it make any sense to put a dab on the toothbrush and use it topically or am I totally missing the point?

FWIW - I was raised on well-water and had a pediatrician who was extremely anti-fluoride. I didn't have a cavity until I was in college (where the water was fluoridated) and was drinking Mt. Dew every day...

I don't give my kids fluoride supplements, but I do plan to use fluoride toothpaste on them when they're old enough to spit it out. I can see the benefits of topical fluoride, but the supplements just make me too nervous. (My kids are vaccinated, following the recommended schedule, BTW.)

As a Cosmetic Comprehensive TMJ Dentist with offices both in Lake Oswego (Aesthetic Dentistry of Lake Oswego) and Bellevue Washington (Aesthetic Dentistry of Bellevue) I am privilaged to work with two son-in-law Dentists, one in each location.
I have a Master's Degree in Nutrition and Health Education and DDS from Loma Linda University, 1974 and 1977. For 25 years I promoted fluoridation and firmly believed what I was taught in school and ADA. Working in Lake Oswego, I have seen many patients with Dental Fluorosis, caused by ingesting too much fluoride during the first 8 years of life (when the teeth are developing). The patients claimed they had lived in non-fluoridated Lake Oswego and Oregon all their lives. So where did these patients get too much fluoride to cause the dental fluorosis? I did not know, so I started looking. What did I find?

A. We are ingesting double to tripple the amount of fluoride even the American Dental Association recommends. For some people, this amount of ingested fluoride leaves no margin of safety and they are being harmed. Too much fluoride even without water fluoridation. Adding fluoride to water would cause them even greater harm. Huge increases in fluoride pesticides and post-harvest fumigants in our foods, make the removal of fluoride from water the most reasonable course of action to reduced the excess of total intake. Do NOT swallow toothpaste. Do NOT let children use fluoridated toothpaste until the learn to spit without first swallowing.

B. Infants and Children are most susceptible to fluoridation's excess. Infants on formula with fluoridated water receive 250 times the amount of fluoride as mother's milk. The NRC 2006 references both the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics that children under 6 months should not have any supplements of fluoride. That means NO fluoridated water under six months of age to drink or mixed with formula. About two thirds of infants receive formula mixed with water. No significant Governmental agency recommends fluoridated water be used to make infant formula. Further, the AAP recommends children under three years of age not drink more than 1 cup of fluoridated water (soups, beverages, water, etc.) What does the AAP recommend you tell you child who is thirsty and by noon has consumed their one glass of water for the day? Amy, both you and I find the ADA website recommends fluoride supplements, however, the NRC reports differently. I presume the ADA website has not been updated with the current research. See http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11571.html I too have a hard time keeping my website up to date. The ADA appears to have backed down from suggesting Mother's Milk is deficient and inadequate, except on their web site.

C. Fluoridation of water no longer provides benefits, if it ever did. No life time benefits.
1. A delay in tooth erruption makes most research in the past flawed.
2. "Fluoride bombs" make the detection of decay difficult until the decay is very large for those on fluoridation
3. Most research did not include socioeconomic differences in subjects and is flawed.
4. Dental researchers and the ADA have lied when reporting a 20-40% reduction in decay with fluoridation. Biostatasticians have quietly countered demonstrating the flaw/lie in Dental Research, but have been mostly ignored.

D. Ethics. Fluoridation is the only medication which is mass medicated without patient exam, prescription, and perpetual refill.

E. Read your fluoridated toothpaste label. The FDA requires the warning not to swallow a pea size amount. That pea size amount has less fluoride than two glasses of fluoridated water, 0.5 mg. We should have warnings not to drink more than two glasses of fluoridated water.

F. The source of fluoride is industrial waste which contains known contaminants in quantities higher than maximum contaminant level goals set by the EPA.

G. Stopping fluoridation does not cause an increase in tooth decay.

H. The harm from fluoride must be measured from total body intake and not just 1ppm of fluoride in water. There are numerous health risks from Cancer deaths, broken bones, damaged teeth (fluorosis), thyroid disease, and much more.

I. Good scientists throughout the world have considered fluoridation and most countries have rejected fluoridation.

Any one of the above points should cause a cessation of fluoridation until further study is done. If in doubt, be safe and take fluoride out.

As to the "self serving" suggestion. I make a living in part from the uggly damage from too much fluoride, dental fluorosis. I would much rather make $10,000 treating one Cosmetic Dental fluorosis patient than $1,000 decay on 10 wiggly little kids.

I would not suggest any Dentist's position on fluoride. Those in favor of fluoridation have not looked at the current research. Most scientists in developed countries have rejected fluoridation. The current research in the US indicates fluoridation has not reduced dental decay more than these other countries.

Compare percentage of residents on fluoridation with the percentage of children in socioeconomic groups having very good to excellent oral health for each of the 50 US States. Fluoridation ranges from 3% to 100% while oral health oral Health for each socioeconomic health is essentially the same for each state. The point is, if fluoridation helped improve oral health, then we should see better health in states which fluoridate. . . and we do not.

The risks of fluoridation are serious and can be discussed later.

Now to specifics. Xyfan. I'm not an expert on vaccinations, but would be pleased to give my two cents. So as not to confuse the subjects, maybe we can save that for another conversation.

Clair, The National Institute of Health reported two situations where the evidence for fluoride varnish is "fair". All other applications of fluoride the evidence is "incomplete." So if you give fluoride supplements to your child, it is without significant scientific support.
Fluoride supplements will not prevent decay and there is no other medical reason to give fluoride supplements. My Grandchildren DO NOT get fluoride supplements and their Dad and Grandad are Dentists. If you give your children fluoride supplements, make sure they are not getting too much fluoride in other foods and beverages. And NO FDA tables or research includes the new increases in fluoride in foods from increased levels of pesticides and post-harvest fumigants.

Amy, I commend your willingness to permit people to have "freedom". Freedom to choose their drugs. Except in water, fluoride for ingestion is an FDA controled substance. The ethics of forcing others to take a drug without a doctor's prescription or supervision has been struck down in the courts.

Fluoride added to water is obtained from the waste product scrubings of the phosphate fertilizer companies. It contains fluoride, arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium and other chemicals. The amount of lead and arsenic added with the fluoride is above the EPA maximum contaminant level goals. The ethics of forcing someone to ingest these chemicals, knowing they cause harm is a criminal act on the part of Government.

Claire, I trust I've answered your questions. DO NOT give your son fluoride. The latest research confirms older research that fluoride at 1 ppm in water (like a supplement) when ingested by young boys during growth spirts increases the risk of osteosarcoma by 300 to 400%. This is a rare bone cancer, but without benefit why take the risk.

Thyroid function decreases with fluoride. Yes, fluoride damages the thyroid. Thyroxin is the fifth leading Rx in the US. When the thyroid is damaged, basel metabolic levels decrease and the person gains weight. Do we have an obesity problem in the USA?

One study in China found a 7 fold increase in mental retardation with increase in fluoride intake. Another found an 8-10 point IQ decrease with an incrase in fluoride.

Claire, do you want to take the risk of lowering your son's IQ?

One of the panal members on the recent NRC review of fluoride told me he estimated 300 to 400 additional cases of Downs from fluoridated water.

Early sexual maturation is another concern. The list goes on and on and the benefits no longer exist.

I hope I answered your questions.


Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH
Aesthetic Dentistry of Bellevue and Lake Oswego

Correction. I suggested Thyroxin was the fifth most Rx drug. I should have said Synthyroid, not Thyroxin.


Fluoride is a poison more toxic than lead.
It is not natural but a waste product from aluminum and fertilizer. The EPA has been bombared with high rates of cancer in fluoride treated cities. The EPA ordered a study from the Academey of Science. 450 pages depict a relationship with fluoride and human health. The EPA will be lowering the MCL Max. Contamination Level. If you want to poison your family, continue with fluoride. Pat Arena E-mail me any time for info

The American Dental Association issued an official advisory on November 9, 2006 that infant formula should be prepared with non-fluoridated water for the first year of the infants's life. The ADA did this to protect infants from the health damage of getting too much fluoride. This ADA action removes all doubts about the inadvisability of using any fluoride supplementation during the first year.

A question for the dentist concerning Downs: Downs occurs at the DNA level, so are you suggesting that this particular trisomy is caused by the mother ingesting fluoride?

In the May 9th, 1992 issue of the British Dental Journal a report by J.Clarkson "A European view of fluoride supplementation" reflected the views of European experts on a common dosage regime. QUOTE
"Unanimous agreement was reached on fluoride supplements in Europe:
1.Fluoride supplements have no application as a public health measure.
2. A dose of 0.5mg/day fluoride should be prescribed for at risk individuals from the age of 3 years.
3. Labelling should advise the fluoride supplements should not be used before the age of 3 years of age unless prescribed by dentist." UNQUOTE
If parents follow this advice and their child later develops dental fluorosis -- as is very probable -- they know who prescribed this medication and can take whatever action that they and their lawyers deem appropriate.

Fluoride is essential in oral and dental care. This helpful compound fights cavities and helps make our teeth clean and healthy. But I have read in a study that it is not advisable to administer this compound to infants. Intake of such could cause harm to the body, and infants have yet the presence of mind to spit out the suds after brushing.

If you trust your kid's pediatrician, then you should follow his prescription. But if you are a bit doubtful of his advice, you can always ask for a second opinion. You can also try reading up on the use of fluoride supplements. Also try asking family members or friends who have had experience using those. :)

I agree with Bradley because infants should not be exposed to any chemicals yet. Ask a good doctor if the child’s health is at stake then that is when you consider giving fluoride. You should always have a second opinion to your trusted doctors.

@ lauralye:
Dr. Wolfgang Klein and co-workers at the Seibersdorf Research Center in Austria reported that 1 part per million fluoride inhibits DNA repair enzyme activity by 50% .Since fluoride inhibits DNA repair enzyme activity, fluoride should also be expected to lead to an increase in genetic or chromosome damage.

My son started to develop baby bottle decay after our (former) pediatrician advised us to put him to bed with a bottle because he wasn't sleeping. Less than one month later, he started to develop decay near the gum line on his front teeth. We went back to the ped and he told us that he wasn't a dentist so we set up an apt with a dentist who gave us a prescription for fl tabs. She said the procedure would be to put my son in "the rainbow jacket" and they would take him to the back and drill and fill. Parents weren't allowed. This was a total red flag and made me question the advice I was getting from my health professionals.

We went to Dr. Pike upon a recommendation and he suggested the topical fluoride application 4 times per day.

Approximately six months after starting the tablets, my son started to develop white streaks on his teeth so I started to do more research. I immediately took him off the tablets and started brushing his teeth 4 times per day with a non-fluoride toothpaste. We have had a couple cavities, but we really found brushing, flossing and regular dental visits solved the problem. Also providing him with proper guidance on how to brush.

I found it surprising that fluoride tablets are drops are not approved by the FDA for ingestion for the purpose of preventing tooth decay. I too am glad it is not in our water, since the benefits of fluoride treatments are topical and not systemic.

My candy loving daughter's teeth, incidentally, are perfect.

I didn't give my child a fluoride but a friend of mine is suggesting me to use it while she's still a baby for her teeth development. I went to the pediatrician and asked her advise. If you are doubtful with your pediatrician, then ask for others' opinion.

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