Healthy Smile Worth the Risk?

Tuesday mornings were always “Fluoride Day” when I was in elementary school. We’d all pile into the cafeteria and wait anxiously to see which flavor of the often used teeth treatment would be distributed. Some days, parents would be invited to come in and take part in the fluoride festivities.  Why shouldn’t they have? Clean teeth are important in both children and adults.

Could it be that this weekly ritual does more harm than good? Could too much of a good thing actually be detrimental and cause neurological disorders in children?

It’s possible – according to researchers  investigating fluoride and its effects.  Too much fluoride consumed by women who are pregnant lowers their thyroid levels and this may affect the brain and neurological development of the unborn child.  Such disturbance in development can cause ADD, Autism and decreased IQ levels.

This raises the question: “How much is too much?” and “If I stop doing fluoride treatments will this put me in the clear?” Not so fast. Fluoride is found not only in toothpaste and other dental products but in drinking water and some foods as well. Exposure to fluoride from these multiple sources could be enough to cause the lower Thyroid levels that can lead to neurological deficiencies.

As much as 2/3 of the nation’s water sources contain fluoride. There are organizations  such as the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation whose goal is to omit fluoride from public water sources.


  1. nyscof says

    Fluoride can damage the brain, study says

    “It is not clear that the benefits of
    adding fluoride to drinking water outweigh risks of neurodevelopment
    or other effects such as dental fluorosis,” according to an Institute
    for Children’s Environmental Health report. (1)

    Fluoride chemicals are added to 2/3 of U.S. public water supplies
    ostensibly to reduce tooth decay. Fluoride is found in dental
    products, supplements and virtually all foods and beverages (2).

    “Excessive fluoride ingestion is known to lower thyroid hormone
    levels, which is particularly critical for women with subclinical
    hypothyroidism; decreased maternal thyroid levels adversely affect
    fetal neurodevelopment,” reports a prestigious committee of
    scientists and health professionals in a “Scientific Consensus
    Statement on Environmental Agents Associated with Neurodevelopmental

    Studies they reviewed and others link fluoride to brain abnormalities
    and/or IQ deficits. (3)

    “The question is what level of exposure results in harmful effects to
    children. The primary concern is that multiple routes of exposure,
    from drinking water, food and dental care products, may result in a
    high enough cumulative exposure to fluoride to cause developmental
    effects,” they write.

    “Given the serious consequences of LDDs [learning and developmental
    disabilities], a precautionary approach is warranted to protect the
    most vulnerable of our society,” the authors caution.

    “It’s time to stop water fluoridation,” says attorney Paul Beeber,
    President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation. “With
    many neurological diseases, such as autism and ADD, afflicting too
    many American children, fluoride’s dubious promises of less cavities
    no longer outweigh fluoride’s serious health risks,” says Beeber.

    The National Research Council reviewed fluoride toxicology evidence
    and reported in March 2006 that studies linking fluoride to lowered IQ
    are plausible.(3a)

    “The real dental dilemma facing American children today is their
    inability to get dental care,” says Beeber. “Eighty-percent of
    dentists refuse Medicaid patients (4) and 130 million Americans don’t
    have dental insurance (5),” says Beeber.

    Studies show that when fluoridation ends, cavities actually go down.

    Dr. Phyllis Mullenix was the first U.S. scientist to find evidence
    that fluoride damages the brain. She published her study in a
    respected peer-reviewed scientific journal (7) and then was fired
    because she wouldn’t squelch it.(8)


    1) Institute for Children’s Environmental Health, “Scientific
    Consensus Statement on Environmental AgentsAssociated with
    Neurodevelopmental Disorders,”Developed by the Collaborative on Health
    and the Environment’sLearning and Developmental Disabilities
    Initiative November 7, 2007 released February 20, 2008

    2) USDA National Fluoride Database of Selected
    Beverages and Foods – 2004


    3a) The National Academies of Science, Committee on Fluoride in
    Drinking Water, National Research Council, “Fluoride in Drinking
    Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards,” March 2006

    4) Slate, “Hidden Rations Why poor kids can’t find a dentist,” by Anne
    May 29, 2007

    5) American Dental Education Association/American Association for
    Dental Research Testimony presented by Dr. Nick Mosca March 27, 2007
    Before the House Energy and Commerce Committee


    7) Mullenix P, et al. (1995). “Neurotoxicity of Sodium Fluoride in
    Rats,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 17:169-177)

    8) Dr. Phyllis Mullenix interview:

    Videos: Part 1

    Part 2

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