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.