Saturday, December 03, 2005

Infant Foods and Fluoride

Fluoridated water used in infant food preparation greatly increases a child's risk of developing dental fluorosis without any chance of reducing tooth decay.

Fluoride, when absorbed or swallowed into the body, seeps into unerupted teeth from the bloodstream replacing natural tooth minerals leaving a white, more porous, spot on the outer enamel that may eventually turn yellow, brown or black. It’s not removable. Only cosmetic dentistry, not usually covered by insurance, can conceal it. If baby teeth get fluorosed, chances are the permanent teeth will also.

Ingesting fluoride doesn't reduce tooth decay. Only topical application does. So swallowing fluoride, for babies without teeth, delivers risks with no benefit.

Fluoride was added to water supplies based on the theory that fluoride's decay preventing properties occurred upon ingestion but new research disproved that theory. Fluoride's alleged benefits are topical. In other words, fluoridated water doses the teeth on the way to the stomach. Also, minute amounts emerge in saliva to bathe the teeth again. However, the fluoride found in saliva is too minute to have any therapeutic effect. So there is absolutely no reason to dose a toothless infant with fluoride. And it doesn’t do much good thereafter.

While there is a scientific controversy on the benefits and risks of fluoridation, both sides agree that too much fluoride is a bad thing. The Journal of the American Dental Association, reports that infants should not be fed powder or liquid infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water. Nearly 10 percent of enamel fluorosis cases in fluoridated areas could be explained by having used infant formula in the form of powder concentrate in the first year.

Fluoride is neither a nutrient nor essential to health so parents should not be afraid to shield their children from fluoride's toxic properties. Proper diet, especially limiting soda and other sugary foods, along with proper dental hygiene is the best tooth decay preventive.

In fact, sugar consumption is more indicative of cavity experience in children who use fluoridated toothpaste and fluoride tablets according to a new study. In other words, if you intend to give your children lots of sugar, fluoride won’t help anyway.

To avoid fluorosis the National Academy of Science advises the following daily fluoride intake from all sources (food, air, water, medicines, and supplements):

· infants up to 6 months old - less than 0.01 mg
· babies from 6 - 12 months less than 0.5 mg
· children from 1 to 3 years old - 0.7 mg
· children from 4 to 8 years old - less than 1 mg

· children from 9 - 15 years old - less than 2 mg

Ready-to-eat chicken baby foods and formed nugget-like chicken products are high in fluoride because the mechanically deboning process gets fluoride-rich bone dust into the product. Some grape juices have fluoride levels higher than the maximum contaminant level the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows in public water supplies because fluoride-containing pesticide residues remain on the fruit. Most foods and beverages processed in fluoridated areas also contain fluoride.

If you think it is impossible to calculate your child's daily fluoride intake, you are right.
Since it is virtually impossible to avoid fluoride, it might be prudent to avoid known sources.

You can find out the fluoride content of some foods at this site

or from a National Academy of Science Report on page 294 here:

Parents who avoid fluoridated tap water should be aware that many bottled waters have a fluoride content that’s not listed on their labels. A call to bottlers will generate a full disclosure of the water's ingredients. Some boast levels that are too high for children to consume. Call the water companies where your child lives, goes to daycare or at Grandma's house to find out if that water is fluoridated and at what level.


We told you first: From the Academy of General Dentistry 4/16/01 News Releases

Monitor Infant's Fluoride Intake

If you add fluoridated water to your infant's baby formula, you may be putting your child at risk of developing dental fluorosis, according to the Academy of General Dentistry.

1 comment:

jonson said...

Taking care of your family’s health is vital, and a healthy smile is an important part of overall health. Science has linked dental disease and poor oral health to increased risk for many serious systemic health risks.