Fluoride-Induced Spots On Teeth Harm Kids' Self-Esteem
Fluoride exposure is rising and causing children's tooth imperfections, ranging from white spots to brownish discolorations and pitting (fluorosis), dentist Elivir Dincer reports in the New York State Dental Journal.
"Such changes in the tooth's appearance can affect the child's self-esteem which makes early prevention that much more critical," writes Dincer.
Children, aged 2 to 7 years, can swallow about one-quarter milligram of fluoride with every brushing because their swallowing reflexes are not fully developed, reports Dincer.
"Children from the age of 6-months to 3-years should not have more than one-quarter milligram of fluoride per day. Brushing the teeth of a 2-year-old twice a day will expose the child to about one-half milligram, exceeding the allowable [daily] limits" [from toothpaste alone], writes Dincer.
Intentionally swallowing the toothpaste which is likely, given the pleasant flavor of children's toothpaste, increases children's fluorosis risk, Dincer reports.
Fluoridated water, supplements, mouthrinses and/or foods add to daily fluoride intake.
Up to 48% of children have fluorosis, with 4% moderate/severe (yellow/brown teeth), reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Fluoride over-exposure at ages 22- to 25-months can discolor the permanent two front teeth while they form under the gums.
Two-thirds of US water suppliers add fluoride chemicals to reduce tooth decay. This fluoridated water is used to make many foods and beverages. "Water and processed beverages (e.g., soft drinks and fruit juices) can provide approximately 75% of a person's fluoride intake," according to the CDC.
Mixing infant formula with fluoridated water, fluoride supplements and foods with naturally higher fluoride levels, such as tea and ocean fish, independently increase risk of dental fluorosis. Fluoride-containing pesticide residues remain on various foods. Fluoride is also inhaled via ocean and shower mist and is in some medicines.
"It's obvious that fluoridation is dosing our children with uncontrollable and undesirable amounts of fluoride," says attorney Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. "Besides affecting teeth, fluoride can be hazardous to your general health," he says. "We must stop fluoridation."