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):
- Both grew up drinking WELL WATER, which was not fluridated
- Both had regular dental cleanings and fluoride treatments
- The oldest used fluoride toothpaste for his entire life
- The youngest used fluoride toothpaste until three years ago
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.