Because fluoride overdose is a new concern, Zohoori and Maguire in the British Dental Journal (Feb 23, 2018) suggest that manufacturers use non-fluoridated water in food processing and that food and beverage labels include fluoride content.
Fluoride, touted as decay preventive, is added to most US water supplies. This means fluoride is also flowing into foods and beverages made with that water. The consequences – white spotted, yellow, brown and/or pitted teeth (fluorosis) the outward manifestation of fluoride overdose. Up to 60% of US adolescents are so afflicted.
Fluoride is also absorbed into the bloodstream via topical application e.g. toothpaste, varnish, gels and also found naturally in ocean fish, tea and fluoride-containing pesticide residues on produce.
“[C]ontrolling fluoride ingestion has regained the attention of researchers around the world due to the reported rise in the prevalence of dental fluorosis in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas,” write Zohoori and Maguire. Even the World Health Organization is concerned, they report.
“Dietary fluoride supplements increase the risk of fluorosis for those in nonfluoridated areas by more than six-fold. Children who begin using toothpaste before age 2 — regardless of whether their drinking water is fluoridated — increase their odds of having fluorosis by approximately three times” (Pediatric Dentistry 1995)
Up to 80% of children in some US areas are afflicted with dental fluorosis (The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, 5/2018)
Even though many assume that swallowing too much fluoridated toothpaste is the major cause of dental fluorosis, the CDC’s Fluoridation Engineer, Kip Duchon, is reported in the ADA News as saying: “A provider needs to understand a patient’s total fluoride exposure and fluoride in drinking water is the largest contributor to total fluoride exposure.”
Former NYS Dental Director and close associate of the American Dental Association, JV Kumar wrote, “practitioners should prescribe fluoride therapy based on an understanding of patients’ total exposure to fluoride and the need for additional amounts.
But that is rarely, if ever, done.
Why aren’t consumers informed?
Dentists are still taught to prescribe fluoride supplements based solely on the fluoride levels in drinking water, Even though fluoride supplements have never been FDA approved or tested for safety or efficacy.
In fact, the Cochrane Oral Health Group reports that fluoride supplements fail to reduce tooth decay in primary teeth, permanent teeth cavity-reduction is dubious and health risks are little studied.
Only expensive cosmetic dentistry can cover fluorosed teeth affording many dentists the ability to neglect low-income folks with serious tooth decay but inability to pay dentists’ exhorbitant fees.
In a failed attempt to alleviate the fluorosis problem, recommended water fluoride levels and fluoride supplement doses have been lowered.
In 1970’s, manufacturers voluntarily lowered the fluoride content of infant formula. But all infant formulas still contain a little fluoride – whether the formula is concentrated, organic or ready to use.
On top of that, it’s now discouraged to mix infant formula with fluoridated water if parents want to avoid lifelong discoloration of their babies’ permanent teeth. It’s the fluoridated water and not the infant formula that’s the real problem.
Also concerned are the Centers for Disease Control and Colgate which urge parents to use non-fluoridated toothpaste until their children are able to spit it all out to avoid fluorosis.
Zohoori and Maguire write, even though the UK and the US have fluoride in foods databases, fluoride levels vary greatly.
“For example, the composition of animal products could be influenced by age, feeding routine and season. In addition, factors such as the country of origin and local growing conditions could affect the composition of plant products, while alteration in recipes, amounts and types of ingredients and even the material composition of the cooking vessel can affect the fluoride content of a particular product,” they write.
Of course, the best way to limit fluoride intake is to stop adding unnecessary fluoride chemicals into the public’s water supply that finds it’s way into the food chain and builds up in our bones, brains and children’s teeth.
But that won’t happen until people organize and demand fluoridation be stopped where they live.
Unfortunately, politics, not science, supports water fluoridation. Organized dentistry, with its pockets full of corporate cash, have too much influence over our lawmakers and bureaucrats, in my opinion.
Fluoride should be dispensed in doctors’ offices and prescribed like all other drugs – considering age, health, weight need and monitored for side effects and overdoses.
“The Iowa Fluoride Study (IFS) reported that during the first 12 months of age, up to 96% of total fluoride intake can be from diet, which then decreases to 53% at age 24 months,” report Zohoori and Maguire.
IFS revealed in 2009 “achieving a caries-free status may have relatively little to do with fluoride intake, while fluorosis is clearly more dependent on fluoride intake.”
Recent IFS results (2018) show no benefit from ingested fluoride
The End of Fluoridation is Near – If You Help. Take Action