The fluoride controversy has been going on for years, completely unbeknownst to me until a few months ago. As I mentioned in my post about my summer reading list, a longtime reader of Telling It Like It Is emailed me with a long list of websites, news article links, books about fluoride dangers and documentary videos discussing the high levels of fluoride in water supplies, fluoridated foods and drinks consumed on a daily basis by children and adults alike.
As a dental professional for over 21 years, but not an actual dentist nor a dental hygienist, the email I received caused me to really delve deeply into the controversy surrounding what fluoride is, where fluoride comes from and if its naturally occurring or man-made, the real cause of dental fluorosis, why the water fluoridation issue is such a heated debate, etc.
Oh sure, just like most dental office professionals, I could rattle off the usual banter from the American Dental Association about how fluoride works topically to help prevent cavities and how important fluoride is for teeth, blah blah blah. But what about scientific provable “facts” that fluoride really does work for our benefit rather than to our detriment?
Before I continue discussing what has recently been dubbed the “fluoridegate” scandal, let me explain something I feel is extremely important to my readers. I do not jump head first onto one “bandwagon” after another. Skepticism is my middle name. The growing fluoride controversy is highly personal due to my profession, but personal on many levels as a human being, parent and grandma. Regardless of what I say here about fluoride and the ongoing “anti fluoride” movement, do not take my word for it. Read and research on your own, far beyond any of the links that will be provided here.
The more I read and learn about fluoride and where it comes from, sodium fluoride; stannous fluoride; sodium silicofluoride or fluosilicic acid, known as silicofluorides (SiFs); fluoride in drinking water (water bottles and tap water, etc); fluoride in a long list of foods and drinks; toothpaste; mouthwashes; gels; fluoride supplements; baby foods; juices; nursery water bottles; dental varnishes; seeing the words “fluoride poisoning” from ingesting too much fluoride as being even a remote possibility caused me to become very upset. From everything I’ve been taught about oral health over the years, the words “fluoride” and “poison” do not belong in the same sentence. Or do they?
Just like many others who first hear about “anti” this or that groups, I too was ready to turn away and blow it off as “conspiracy” talk and utter nonsense. I don’t want to hear theories, innuendo, “maybe” this and “possibly” that. I want cold hard facts. My initial reaction of skepticism, doubt and denial lead to shock, disgust and outrage, followed by some colorful language truck drivers and sailors are known for but I prefer to avoid. I was completely unprepared for the sheer volume of information about the “anti fluoride” movement and the diligent efforts by many concerned citizens to bring public awareness to the fluoride, fluoride supplements and water fluoridation issues that I found to be extremely troubling.
Ever since 1997, the United States Fraud and Drug Administration (FDA) has required that all toothpastes sold in the U.S. carry a poison warning on the label to prevent children from swallowing even a pea-size amount (quarter of a milligram) of fluoride. The warning label reads: “WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” One 8oz glass of fluoridated drinking water is said to contain the same quarter of a milligram of fluoride the FDA warns children not consume or swallow.
Efforts are being made to require warning labels on water bills to warn parents and consumers of the dangers of fluoride to children and infants who may be unaware of the controversy. The warning label on water billing statements will read: “Your public water supply is fluoridated. Fluoridated water should not be used or added to infant formula, foods, or drinks intended for babies 12 months of age or younger in order to avoid dental fluorosis.”
In November of 2006, the American Dental Association (ADA) warned its members of their recommendation that parents not use fluoridated water to make reconstituted infant formula. Shortly thereafter the Center for Deceit Control and Procrastination (CDC) made the same recommendation. No effort was made to warn the general public through front page news reports, tv news special alert warnings etc. No public awareness campaign whatsoever by the health organizations whose job it is to protect the public.
Fluoridated bottled “nursery water” and other water-added beverages for infant babies continues to be sold to unwitting parents by major retailers despite the warnings about the health risks associated with “too much fluoride”.
If, and it’s a BIG IF, IF fluoride works topically to help prevent tooth decay, then why are we ingesting fluoride through our drinking water by water fluoridation, foods and drinks and other products we consume? What are the longterm effects of consuming fluoride from its various sources?
What possible rationale could there be behind the practice of adding fluoride to virtually everything the public consumes IF the “benefits” of fluoride use are due to topical application to teeth? What risks or dangers to overall health and wellbeing is there by eating and drinking fluoridated foods and drinks? How are our internal organs affected by “too much fluoride” intake?
IF fluoride works so well in prevention of dental caries and benefits overall oral health, then why are thousands of doctors, dentists, scientists, pharmacists, nurses and other professionals strongly calling for the end of fluoridation worldwide in water, toothpaste, foods, etc?
IF fluoride in water supplies is so beneficial orally, then why have so many countries and communities banned the use of water fluoridation and more and more towns and cities are being added to the list regularly?
A review of research studies about fluoride concluded that “The prolonged ingestion of fluoride may cause significant damage to health and particularly to the nervous system”, and to “avoid the use of toothpaste and items that contain fluoride”. The article continues saying, “In 2006, the U.S. National Research Council’s (NRC) expert fluoride panel reviewed fluoride toxicology and concluded, “It’s apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain.” And, “Fluorides also increase the production of free radicals in the brain through several different biological pathways. These changes have a bearing on the possibility that fluorides act to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.” [emphasis mine]
The fluoride controversy does not just involve infant babies, small children or toddlers, but teenagers and adults and the elderly. Water fluoridation in public water supplies has gone on for many many years, and the public has a right to know the true facts about the health risks, the damaging effects that fluoride from all of its sources has done to every person who has been exposed to fluoride. I am nowhere near being done with all of my research into “toxic fluoride“, but what I’ve learned thus far has enormous health-related implications for us all. See 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoride too.