“Ten year old, Gradon got some nasty news from his dentist and it wasn’t a cavity,” reports CBC-TV. “I saw this yellow stuff and thought it was my toothpaste and kept trying to wash it off; but it wouldn’t come off,” says Gradon.
Those patches are fluorosis, a condition that shocks many parents because of the cause — too much fluoride. “It was even a bigger surprise to his pediatric dentist — he’s Gradon’s father,” said the Canadian broadcaster. (1)
“We don’t really know how much fluoride it takes to cause fluorosis; and it’s not something we really knew much about ten years ago,” said the Canadian dentist in 1998.
Dental fluorosis is growing in prevalence and severity in American children (2) and can range from mild, white spotted teeth to moderate and severe fluorosis — yellow, brown or black and sometimes pitted and crumbling teeth.
American children are over-fluoridated. It’s hard to believe that dentists themselves are undereducated about fluoride and its adverse effects, but they are.
Some dentists and pediatricians wrongly prescribe fluoride supplements to children who live in fluoridated communities. Further, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) teaches dentists that fluoride supplements and fluoride treatments by dentists are only advisable for those with a high risk for tooth decay (3), although doctors usually prescribe supplements based on water fluoridation status, age and fluoride treatments based on insurance carriers’ willingness to pay. The only scientifically-valid predictor of future cavities is present tooth decay.
Fluoride treatments may be a money-maker for dentists, but there’s no proof it benefits children at low risk for tooth decay. (4)
Fluoride’s alleged beneficial effects are topical, not systemic as once believed. Scientists discovered that fluoride supplements discolor teeth but don’t reduce tooth decay. (5)
That is why mainstream dental groups such as the Canadian Dental Association, the Western Australia Health Department’s Dental Service and the German Scientific Dental Association stopped recommending routine fluoride supplementation, unlike the American Dental Association who still recommends supplements, not based on patient need, scientific evidence or CDC guidelines, but on water fluoridation status and age.
And to add insult to injury, fluoride supplements have never been approved or safety tested by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), having been “grandfathered” in, (already being sold) before the law to test drugs was passed (6).
In the early 1900’s, Americans drinking naturally calcium-fluoridated water supplies displayed cavity-free but discolored teeth. Fluoride, the tooth staining culprit, was assumed the cavity preventer, also. But researchers overlooked calcium, magnesium and other teeth-building components in the water supplies.
Those early studies are dismissed as flawed. (7) But, still not ready to give up on fluoride, dentists claim fluoride must work topically. However, no well-done studies exist comparing cavity rates between similar populations of fluoride users vs. non-users.
Neither a nutrient nor essential to health, fluoride is simply used as a drug to treat tooth decay. Unlike vitamin and mineral supplements discouraged in favor of a balanced diet, fluoride supplements are promoted by the medical establishment and mandated into water supplies, even though slightly more than recommended leads to adverse effects such as dental fluorosis. Three to four times “optimal” can actually cause tooth decay. (8)
In larger amounts, fluoride is lethal. But some dentists are painfully unaware of this, too.
In order to convince California legislators to vote for fluoridation, a dentist swallowed a whole vial of fluoride tablets in front of them and then said, “Hey, guess what? I’m still alive.” (9)
Swallowing too many fluoride pills killed children. (10) Another child died after swallowing instead of expectorating his dentist’s fluoride treatment. The dentist didn’t think it was toxic. (11) People have become sickened and died because water engineers or machinery malfunction injected excess fluoride into water supplies. (12)
Warnings on the back of fluoridated toothpaste tubes and boxes are there because ingestion of the whole tube’s contents can be lethal to a small child. (10)
Over 65% of America is fluoridated, and virtually all Americans consume too much fluoride in their foods, beverages and dental products. With dental fluorosis increasing, one would expect tooth decay would be obliterated.
Instead tooth decay rates climb. (13)
The only virtual sure thing that’s linked to extensive cavities is poverty, which is also linked to poor nutrition, high rates of infant mortality, higher cancer death rates, and most other health disorders. Unlike nutrients which have deficiency health consequences, fluoride deficiency has no health consequences.
Dentist Weston Price discovered in the 1920s and ‘30s that “primitive” populations around the world who followed their traditional nature-based diets enjoyed decay-free teeth, while those that turned to the “civilized” diet of processed, sugar-laden foods had many missing and decayed teeth. (14)
There are ways to help prevent tooth decay in children. The American Dental Association (ADA) states, “Pregnant women can help ensure their children get a good start on their oral health by focusing on staying healthy, including a proper diet, because teeth begin developing between the third and sixth month of pregnancy.” (15)
Breastmilk is the healthiest choice for a young child’s overall development. It also has anti-cariogenic properties and is an important factor in keeping teeth healthy. Breastmilk contains bacteria fighting cells and enzymes, which may help destroy the germs that cause tooth decay. (16) (17)
As children begin eating solid foods, continuing to provide a well balanced diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, is beneficial to good dental health.
(1) CBC News, December 1998, http://cbc.ca/cgi-bin/templates/view.cgi?category=Sci-Tech&story=/news/1998/12/29/fluoride981229
(2)”Prevalence and trends in enamel fluorosis in the United States from the 1930s to the 1980s.” by Beltran-Aguilar, et al, Journal of the American Dental Association, February 2002
(3) “Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States” August 27, 2001, CDC
(4)”Preventive dentistry: practitioners’ recommendations for low-risk patients compared with scientific evidence and practice guidelines,” Am J Prev Med Feb 2000 , by Frame et al http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&
(5) “The case for eliminating the use of the dietary fluoride supplements for young children,” J Public Health Dentistry 1999 Fall by BA Burt
(6) Letter from New Jersey Representative Kelly to FDAhttp://www.citizens.org/Food_water_safety/Fluoridation/Materials/
web_pages/letter%20_%20to_FDA.htm and confirmed by Crystal Wyand, spokesperson, FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, e-mail correspondence.
(7) “More Rigorous Studies Needed to Advance Emerging Dental Caries Diagnostic and Management Strategies, Says NIH Consensus Panel,” NIH News Release, March 28, 2001http://consensus.nih.gov/news/releases/115_release.htm and British Medical Journal (B.M.J.), October 7, 2000,McDonagh, et al
(8) “Dentistry, Dental Practice and the Community,” by Burt and Eklund.
(9) Journal of the California Dental Association, January 1997, “The Fluoride Victory,” by Joanne Boyd
(10) “The Metabolism and Toxicity of Fluoride,” by Gary Whitford and
(12) “Acute fluoride poisoning from a public water system,” New England Journal of Medicine, Jan 1994, Gessner et al,
(13) “Health Journal: As kids’ cavities rise, some dentists advocate using tooth sealants,”Wall Street Journal, Tara Parker-Pope, March 8, 2002http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/
(14) “Nutrition and physical Degeneration,” by Weston A. Price D.D.S.
ADA News Releases
Good Oral Health Begins in the Womb
(16) Loesche WJ, “Nutrition and dental decay in infants.” Am J Clin Nutr 41; 423-435, 1985
(17) Lucas, A, Cole T, “Is Breast Feeding a Likely Cause of Dental Caries in young Children?” Journal of American Dental Assoc., 1979; 98:21-23