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Do Our Children Need Fluoride in Their Drinking Water?

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Given that fluoride in high doses is poisonous, do our children need it in their drinking water at all?

I grew up in a town that had fluoridated drinking water.  I used fluoride toothpaste, brushed 2-3 times a day, and had annual fluoride treatments from the dentist.  My parents ensured that I didn’t have more than a couple pieces of candy each week.  So, I should have pretty good teeth, right.  I haven’t had a cavity since 1987, but—I had five cavities before I was 12 years old.

Now what I’m about to tell you is admittedly, circumstantial evidence.  I’m an engineer by profession and I understand scientific study principles, statistics, etc.  I offer the following as simply an observation of what I have witnessed with my own children.  As I’ve stated elsewhere on this web site, I only want to offer my experiences and observations so you can  make your own decisions.  So here is what I’ve seen with my own two children (now 19 and 23):

  1. Both grew up drinking WELL WATER, which was not fluridated
  2. Both had regular dental cleanings and fluoride treatments
  3. The oldest used fluoride toothpaste for his entire life
  4. The youngest used fluoride toothpaste until three years ago
  5.  Both had tooth sealants applied until age 12 (which were not available when I was a kid.

Neither one has a single cavity!

Does this prove ANYTHING?  No, not in a scientific way.  The test is not completely controlled (and I can’t travel back in time to align my dental care accordingly) and the sample is statistically insignificant.  However, I think I can make a couple of circumstantial observations:

  1. Neither child had fluoridated water, so at the very least, neither would have seen any benefit if they did consume it for the last 20 years.
  2. Both children had sealants applied.  From the information I’ve read, there is strong evidence that sealants provide an advantage to our children’s dental health. However, I have not explored possible toxicity issues.
  3. Given that our dental care was the same, with the exception of the sealants, having extra fluoride in my water did little to protect me from cavities*

Although I don’t have a way to remove fluoride from the equation altogether, I feel that having it in drinking water is not necessary, assuming regular dental care.  Now not everyone has regular dental care, but certainly a far higher percentage have it now, then when fluoridation became common in the 1950s.

Again, I encourage you to do your own research.

*Note: there was no way to control variables like tooth composition and diet, so drawing a conclusion from this limited evidence is admittedly, unscientific.  Maybe I would have had more cavities without the additional fluoride in my drinking water.

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