Informed parents know water fluoridation is good for their children

Paul Connett is at it again. His latest project is aimed at manipulating the natural concern parents have for their children. He is using crude fear-mongering in the hope of getting parents to come out against community water fluoridation (CWF) – a social health policy known to be both effective and safe (see Calling All Parents).

zeditorial-parent-child

Image credit: Golisano Children’s Hospital

Sensible parents need to keep well away from this nonsense. If you have read his “statement” I offer instead the advice below as a counter to Connett’s rubbish. It is important for parents to learn the truth about this safe and effective social health policy so they can work together to counter attacks on it from ideologically motivated political activists like Connett.


1) Natural is not necessarily safe and “Nature” did not have “intentions for us.” Yes, mothers’ milk is low in fluoride, but it can also be deficient in other beneficial or essential trace elements. A brief scan of the scientific literature shows breast-fed children are prone to several microelement deficiencies. For example, Kodama (2004) and Domellöf, et al (2004) report deficient levels of zinc, selenium and iron in breast milk. Supplementation of breast-fed infants with micronutrients, including fluoride, is sometimes recommended.

2) Mild or very mild dental fluorosis is the only know negative effect of community water fluoridation. It is usually just cosmetic and often only noticed by a dental professional. Severe dental fluorosis is very uncommon in NZ, USA and most of Europe, but is usually caused by high fluoride intake from natural sources (eg in China or India), industrial pollution, consumption of fluoridated toothpaste, etc. Opponents of CWF often quote data for the common occurrence of mild dental fluorosis – but then describe it (or illustrate with photos) as if it were severe. See Dental fluorosis: badly misrepresented by FANNZ for an example of this misrepresentation.

3) CWF will not harm your child’s brain. Connett’s scare-mongering claims of CWF reducing the IQ of children are based on a selection of brief reports from areas of high natural fluoride in drinking water (Chio et al 2012). These are not relevant to CWF (Choi and Grandjean 2012). The reports are of poor scientific quality – mostly ignoring confounding factors like lead intake, breast-feeding and education which are known to influence IQ (National Fluoride Information Service 2013; Broadbent et al 2014). These reports also use data from naturally high fluoride areas in China and Iran where skeletal fluorosis and severe dental fluorosis are a problem.  More detailed studies at the lower concentrations used in CWF have not found any connections between CWF and IQ levels (Whitford et al 2009; Broadbent et al 2014).

4) There is ample evidence fluoridation is beneficial to your child’s teeth. This is not surprising because fluoride is a natural and normal constituent of the bioapatites your teeth and bones are formed from. At optimum concentrations it strengthens them and helps prevent their corrosion by acidic foods, etc. Be wary of anti-fluoridation propagandists claims of studies showing no beneficial effects of CWF. These usually refer to situations where children receive other forms of fluoride such as fluoride oral rinses, fluoridated salt or milk, or topical fluoride varnish dental applications. Some propagandist also attempt to claim that the general improvement of oral health in developed countries in recent years without CWF “proves” it is ineffective. This improvement arises from improved diet and personal dental hygiene as well as improved care by dentists. These positive effects are usually in addition to the benefits of CWF and this becomes obvious when communities with and without CWF are compared in the same country.

5) Fluoride in water and food, as well as that in toothpaste, is beneficial . Development of permanent and baby teeth occurs in the first 4 years of life. Incorporation of optimum amounts of fluoride into the tooth enamel at this stage, even before teeth erupt, helps reduce tooth decay throughout life. Even after tooth eruption the existing teeth benefit from the fluoride which transfers to saliva from food and water. This helps to maintain a concentration of fluoride in saliva which reduces the demineralisation of the tooth surface by acid derived from acid food and drink and from bacterial action on carbohydrates. It also helps the remineralisation of the tooth enamel as the acid concentration in saliva reduces with time. The beneficial role of fluoride with existing teeth is mainly due to this surface, or topical, effect. However, fluoride concentrations in saliva decrease rapidly with time so CWF is important because regular consumption helps to maintain concentrations. Consequently CWF supplements brushing teeth with fluoridated toothpaste which, by itself, cannot maintain concentrations through the day.

The beneficial effects of CWF results from both ingestion (particularly during tooth development in young children) and maintenance of an effective concentration of fluoride in saliva protecting existing teeth against decay throughout life.

CWF is a proven safe and effective social health policy. It works for everyone because it doesn’t need individuals to remember to use mouth-rinses, take supplements or make applications to their teeth. Once in place we can forget about it and it still works.

For these reasons parents should support community water fluoridation. They should also be very wary of ideologically driven activists who use scare-mongering and misinformation to raise fears. Parents naturally have their child’s best interests at heart. Unscrupulous activists can take advantage of that. But informed parents can protect themselves from emotive propaganda.

Informed parents will reject Paul Connett’s latest fear-mongering campaign.

References

Broadbent, J. M., Thomson, W. M., Ramrakha, S., Moffitt, T. E., Zeng, J., Foster Page, L. A., & Poulton, R. (2014). Community Water Fluoridation and Intelligence: Prospective Study in New Zealand. American Journal of Public Health.

Choi AL, Grandjean LC (2012). Harvard Press Release: Statement on fluoride paper.

Choi, A. L., Sun, G., Zhang, Y., & Grandjean, P. (2012). Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(10), 1362–1368. Retrieved from

Domellöf, M., Lönnerdal, B., Dewey, K. G., Cohen, R. J., & Hernell, O. (2004). Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations in breast milk are independent of maternal mineral status. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 79(1), 111–5. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14684406

Kodama, H. (2004). Trace Element Deficiency in Infants and Children — Clinical practice —. Journal of the Japan Medical Association, 47(8), 376–381.

National Fluoride Information Service. (2013). NFIS Advisory A review of recent literature on potential effects of CWF programmes on neurological development and IQ attainment.

Whitford, G. M., Whitford, J. L., & Hobbs, S. H. (2009). Appetitive-based learning in rats: lack of effect of chronic exposure to fluoride. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 31(4), 210–5.

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48 responses to “Informed parents know water fluoridation is good for their children

  1. It is truly incredulous that a man with a PhD in chemistry, such as Connett, could be so blatantly ignorant of science and healthcare. Either that, or entirely void of integrity.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  2. You’re fighting a losng battle Ken because your arguments are all ‘tobacco science’ . . . hope ti keeps you happy though . . . .:}

    Like

  3. Greenbuzzer

    Always interesting to see antifluoridationists trot out the bluster, while somehow forgetting to include any evidence to support it…..

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  4. Paul Connett speaks the truth while you guys carry the water for the ADA’s antiquated and reckless position. It is obvious when the professor shines the light of truth on the fluoride deception you deceivers come out to swarm, slander and use the half truths that augment your case. For example the severity of dental fluorosis – and suggesting it only being cosmetic. Cosmetic dentistry is big business – and applying veneers to hide the cosmetic effects of dental fluorosis is an undeniable reality.
    Follow the money on fluoridation and see where it leads. Not to Connett, but to sleazy dentists who get paid to push fluoride and thus maintain the status quo.

    Like

  5. Improved Communication Strategies
    The strategies for improving water utility communications with the public and media on CECs can be categorized as either building partnerships with other organizations, adopting best practices for risk communication, or getting to know the audience(s) and tailoring the messages
    accordingly.
    The pro-fluoridationists version of honesty and transparency.

    Like

  6. Trevor, in English please, nobody speaks mangled-ese in here.

    Like

  7. Pithyawards

    Ummm, okay, let’s “follow the money on fluoridation and see where it leads”….

    There is often made, by antifluoridationists,  the unsubstantiated allegations that fluoridation proponents are somehow “paid” for advocating for improved health of all of our citizens, through the help of the proven benefits of water fluoridation.  Well, neither I, nor any other proponent of whom I’m aware, are paid anything whatsoever for our fluoridation advocating efforts.

    However, just to demonstrate the hypocrisy of these ridiculous allegations, let me point out the only  people of whom I’m aware, actually ARE indeed profiting from keeping this issue alive:

    1.  Paul Connett, the Director of the antifluoridationist group, Fluoride Action Network (FAN), long time antifluoridationist zealot-   Paul’s non peer-reviewed book, which he pushes at every conceivable opportunity, sells for $25 per copy.  Paul claims that he donates all royalties he receives from his book sales, to his non-profit group, FAN.  Given that FAN presumably pays all or part of Paul’s fluoride chasing trips all over the United Stated, to New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and anywhere else he chooses to visit, this “donation” would seem to be little more than a tax strategy.

    Additionally, both Paul and his wife receive monthly payments of $1,000 each from the umbrella organization under which FAN operates.

    2.  William Hirzy- the long time antifluoridationist, and close Connett affiliate, Hirzy, is the paid lobbyist for Connett’s group, FAN.

    3. Attorney James Deal- close Connett affiliate, and donor  to FAN, Deal, maintains a website devoted soley to attempts at stirring up  class-action lawsuits against fluoridation, from which he would presumably profit in the delusionary dream that he would ever succeed. 

    4.  Alex Jones- Connett  affiliate, and syndicated, controversial radio host, Jones, of “Infowars” infamy, is now pushing, for $39.95  a solution called “FluorideShield”

    According to Jones’ website:
    “Introducing Fluoride Shield™, an Infowars Life exclusive blend of key herbs and ingredients specifically infused within the formula to help support the elimination of toxic forms of fluoride and other dangerous compounds like mercury, chlorine, and bromine from within the body.”

    ——http://www.infowarsshop.com/Fluoride-Shield_p_1223.html

    5.  Whatever may be paid to Connett’s son, Michael, for his “services” to FAN as well as to any other Connett family members and/or friends.

    As FAN operates under the umbrella of another non-profit organization, the FAN financials lack the transparency as would normally be expected of any such non-profit organization dependent on public donations, and exempt from federal income taxes.  

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  8. Now, who wants odds on how long it will take pithyaward to backpedal and defend Paul’s “right” to be paid for his “work”?

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  9. Trev, why is it that you never seem to be capable of relating your comments on my posts to the post itself? This comment is just nuts.

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  10. Pithyawards – we in NZ know a few sleazy dentists. They are currently used as propaganda tools by the Fluoride Free activist group. Busy promoting misinformation similar to yours.

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  11. So am I to believe that all the array of ‘experts’ who attended the Hamilton tribunal and gave support to the pro fluoride side of the referendum did so without any recompense – Does Dr Broadbent take his pro-fluoride promotional circus around the country for free? You are just a bunch of well intentioned oldies who are worthy of the quote “Who do you think you’re fooling?”.
    I note your praise of Abby Martin of RT regarding the Malaysian plane and agree with you on that. She is a very perceptive lady. Take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqQkqZKBuV4

    Like

  12. Yes, Trev, the informed person must take a critical and intelligent approach to media. That video was a shocker wasn’t it?

    But I notice you still avoid commenting on the post. Strange!

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  13. Ken is still smarting because Paul Connett exposed Ken’s sophistry. There has not been one documented case of fluoride deficiency in the whole of human history. That effectively dismantles the whole fluoridation canard.

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  14. Shane, it sounds to me as if you are smarting, actually. And don’t tell me you have never heard of tooth decay?

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  15. “There has not been one documented case of fluoride deficiency in the whole of human history.”

    Uh….okay. So what?

    Paul must’ve sent out a memo to his minions recently, to push this particular copy/paste. I’m seeing it more and more from uninformed antifluoridationists. Actually, no intelligent person of whom I’m aware, who has even a modicum of understanding of fluoridation, has ever claimed its purpose to be the correction of any “fluoride deficiency”. This is just one more in a long list of “red herrings” concocted by antifluoridationists, presumably to find something, ANYthing to pin on fluoridation.

    Water fluoridation simply prevents dental decay, with no adverse effects.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  16. Pingback: Dissecting a Parrot: Ken’s Great Infant Gamble | Research Blog

  17. Karen Marinich

    I have worked as a Dental Hygienist since 1981. When a client opens their mouth and I examine them, I know within seconds if they were raised in a municipality that had the optimum amount of fluoride in their water. People, it’s a no-brainer, ask people like ME! Then spend a day in my dental office and listen to all the children crying having dental restorations done. There is no fluoride in the municipality I live in, and it sure shows. I gave fluoride supplements to my two daughters who at the age of 24 and 25 have never had a cavity, and most likely never will. My heart aches for the lack of equity for the children. Please remember the children.

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  18. Karen what is happening to you is a case of confirmation bias. You see and believe what you want to believe. Unfortunately the MOH official statistics show that unfluoridated Canterbury has consistently some of the best teeth in NZ. Not one randomized,double blind, placebo controlled study has ever been conducted to show that fluoridation is both safe and effective for everybody..

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  19. Ken I just wanted to thank you for alerting us to this incredible idea of Parents against Fluoridation. This must definitely be implemented in NZ. I think it’ll be a real boost to the ant-fluoridation movement in NZ. Parents need to be informed there is no requirement to swallow fluoride and thus avoiding the well documented risks. Good on you Ken.

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  20. Shane – I see a blinding case of pots and kettles there. And the usual unsubstantiated claims.

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  21. What a load of old cod’s wallop! With over 97% of the World unfluoridated and those figures are growing. Many of those countries tried it and proved it was a total failure and got rid of it very quickly. I’m a Kiwi but we are still a little back water still living in the early 20th century making the same old same old mistakes that were made in the Northern hemisphere over 40 years ago. Drink your bloody fluoride but in our house all of us are as fluoride free as we can be, dogs, budgies, hens, fish everything and as for Karen Marinich. My partner is 15 years younger that me is Australian and her mum was obsessed with using fluoride. Whereas I grew up without it. Her teeth are ten times worse than mine so don’t give me that rubbish about fluoride. I have a friend who raised two girls in a local unflouridated community and now in their early 20 not a filling ever required. SUGAR is the destroyer of teeth! Teeth are the least of our problems with fluoride, it is the rest of our bodies the majority dentists don’t even have foggiest clue about! It is not a part of their purview to know!

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  22. Shane

    As anyone with a semblance of knowledge of water fluoridation understands, RCTs are all but impossible to perform in regard to fluoridation, and will never be done. The next best studies are observational, which are entirely valid and accepted by respected science and healthcare. Countless, peer-reviewed observational studies clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of fluoridation.

    In regard to safety, the only substances ingested as a result of fluoridation are fluoride ions identical to those which have existed in water since the beginning of time, and trace contaminants in barely detectable amounts that fall far short of US EPA maximum levels of safety.

    So, the real question is…….exactly what is it you would like to have “randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled” studied for safety? Fluoride ions you’ve been ingesting all your life, or trace contaminants which have been deemed entirely safe by the US EPA and probably corresponding regulatory bodies of New Zealand and most other civilized nations?

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  23. Well, I guess that seals it, then. Peter’s opinions and anecdotes are clear and indisputable evidence of the evils of fluoridation.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  24. Steve – “all but impossible” so a RCT is possible? The real reason it will never be done because of the fear the fluoridationists have they will be exposed. Shows you have no confidence in your favorite dental therapy and prefer to rely on endorsement “science” and propaganda. I saw on another of your posts in an unguarded moment you acknowledged that fluoride is not required for good teeth. Also you have acknowledged there is no such thing as fluoride deficiency. With that I can wrap up the case against fluoride and put to bed the fluoride myth.

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  25. Shane, I had this debate with Paul Connett and he showed a similar misunderstanding of the nature of proper scientific research that you do (no surprise as you rely on his arguments like so many others).

    Research does not start with an assumption which must be forced wrong but with a hypothesis to rest. If no RCT has been done this has nothing to do with one side or the other but with the practicalities and ethics of such experiments with humans. Just think about it – how do you do an experiment to show hours safe something is? You test for harms.

    So why is it that no RCT has been done to show that fluoridation is unsafe. That onus the onus, and suspicions, on to the anti-fluoridationists.

    The work that has been done, with all the limitations, shows pretty clearly that fluoridation is both safe and effective. If you disagree then you explain why you guys are not doing RCTs to prove it is harmful and ineffective.

    We have to live and work in the real world.

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  26. Well, Shane, if you believe that a RCT can be performed on fluoridation, then, by all means, go for it, that is, if you even have a clue as to what is a RCT in first place.

    As for my “unguarded” statement that was copy/pasted on another site recently, as well….there was nothing unguarded about my agreement that fluoridation is not required for good teeth. There are certainly those in unfluoridated areas who have good teeth. There are also those who have not been vaccinated for polio, smallpox, TB, and a host of other diseases who do not contract these diseases. Does this mean that we do not vaccinate entire populations because there are some who do not contract the diseases in spite of not having been vaccinated?

    Likewise, do we deprive entire populations the benefits of water fluoridation because there are some who have good teeth without it? Additionally just because someone has good teeth does not mean that they have decay-free teeth. This decay, which could very well be prevented with water fluoridation, can turn those good teeth into bad teeth in short order.

    In regard to the “fluoride deficiency” red herring, I’ve already dealt with that nonsense previously.

    Your comical claim that you can “wrap up the case against fluoride and put to bed the fluoride myth” is an excellent demonstration of Ken’s analogy of arguing with antifluoridationists, to playing chess with a pigeon.

    Maybe he would post the link to that chess game here.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  27. Ken you’ve got it back to front. The group,company or organisation carrying out the action/ therapy has do the RCT before making the therapy available to the public. It’s a standard principle. It’s never the other way around. That is just silly. Think of the implications if it was. A whole raft of substances could then be added to the water. The consumer does not have the resources to carry out a RCT. Why is there an ethics problem with a RCT but no ethics problem carrying on with the fluoridation experiment? Also you have failed to address the other aspects of my comment.

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  28. Shane, you guys seem to have enough money for misleading propaganda, formation of an international ideologically driven activist group and costly legal action. Why don’t you ask your mates at the NZ Health Trust. I have seen their financial report and millions are involved.

    But the fact remains, scientists, health experts and research institutions do the best they can with real world situations. They actually do look for harmful effect of all sorts of things (that is the way you look for safety). And the best evidence doesn’t agree with your bias.

    As for ethics and design of a RCT – why don’t you description the specific RCT you want and then these can be discussed. Again, in the real world this is how things are done.

    If you want me to “address” any other of your claims then you have to be specific. But perhaps you could start with addressing my article – after all you are meant to be commenting on it.

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  29. Steve you can fool some the people…….
    Thanks for confirming there is no requirement for fluoride. Also you are being silly like Ken recommending that members of the public do a RCT. Why don’t you contact the ADA and get then to make it an official recommendation seeing as you and Ken support it? “Members of the Public encouraged to carry out RCT’s” ADA 2014. You guys are really scraping the bottom of the barrel with such an asinine proposal.

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  30. Shane, you keep regurgitating the nonsense off of “fluoridealert” without demonstrating that you have any understanding of what you’re saying. Again, exactly what do you want tested? A mineral you’ve been ingesting your entire life, or trace contaminants in levels that have already been deemed safe by the US EPA?

    Until you can answer this question, your calls for RCTs are nothing but meaningless rhetoric you’ve copy/pasted from antifluoridationist websites.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  31. …The pro-fluoridationists version of honesty and transparency

    This is the same Trevor that is unable to answer questions!?

    You are just a bunch of well intentioned oldies who are worthy of the quote “Who do you think you’re fooling?”
    You are always good for a chuckle Trevor!

    Seriously though, it is not difficult to see that your view of reality is…well…

    a little special

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  32. Shane, you distort, mislead and tell porkies. Who the hell has suggested “members of the public” do the research(except of course experts and researchers are also members of the public)? Anything for you to avoid the issues.

    Seriously, why don’t you suggest what to measure? I mean, tell me how do you specifically prove something is “safe”? Without specifically looking for evidence of harm?And what specifically is wrong with the research that has been and is being done – realistically.

    I would have thought in your alternate version if reality some of the EPA scientists who are supposed to oppose fluoridation would have done your imaginary experiment. what about Dr Hirzy or Dr Connett? I am of course taking about an alternative version Of reality as these people are not at all impressive in he real world.

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  33. Shane, why would I contact the ADA or anyone else, about performing needless tests on water fluoridation? You are the one who demands them, not me, not the ADA , not anyone who has any real understanding of the issue. You wants tests, then do them. No one is stopping you.

    Now, back to the question at hand. You still have as yet to answer the simple question as to what exactly you want tested for safety. A mineral you have been ingesting your entire life, or trace contaminants in levels that have already been deemed safe by the US EPA? Your continued parroting of words of which you have no understanding, is clear demonstration of how ludicrous is your continued blustering.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  34. Lorne F. Hudson

    Personal experience: I once talked to a very pro fluoridation dental student about the lack of a safety margin. He stated I may have a point. Since that time the EPA without any research raised it from 0 to 4. Actual fact: When Tacoma WA fluoridated its water it was reported by Tacoma city engineers to State officials that the lead level exceeded EPA standards. Lead is widely known to have serious ill effects at any concentration, yet the AMA had the gall to say that lead levels in water with F- are “not medically significant!” .F- is very good at leaching lead. Many opponents are professional chemists and biochemists and some are former pro-fluoride mainstream health pro-fessionals. So who are the truly uninformed.?

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  35. Lorne, I had a cereer before retirment in research chemistry and I think you overestimate the number of ptofessional chemists, biochemistys and health professionals opposing fluoridation.

    Irrespective, one must look at the actual science and not the qualification. Certian people with qualifications – Paul Connett being a prime example – misrepresent and distort the science. Have a read of my Fluoride debate with this character. He is a shocker!

    One must be very careful about the active misinformation and distortion coming from anti-fluoride propagandists.

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  36. Lorne…..

    You “talked with a dental student”… Well, gee, what could be any more conclusive proof than that…

    The EPA “raised it from 0 to 4”. If “it” refers to the EPA primary MCL for fluoride, ummm….no. The MCL for fluoride has never been 0.

    Fact: “Overall, we conclude that no credible evidence exists to show that water fluoridation has any quantitatable effects on the solubility, bioavailability, bio- accumulation, or reactivity of lead(0) or lead(I1) compounds. The governing factors are the concentrations of a number of other species, such as (bi)carbonate, hydroxide, or chloride, whose effects far exceed those of fluoride or fiuorosilicates under drinking water conditions. Lastly, we consider some previous epidemiological studies of lead(I1) exposure and how recent papers fare methodologically.”

    —–Can Fluoridation Affect Lead (II) In Potable Water? Hexafluorosilicate and Fluoride Equilibria In Aqueous Solution

    Urbansky, E.T., Schocks, M.R.
    Intern. J . Environ. Studies, 2O00, Voi. 57. pp. 597-637

    “So who are the truly uninformed?” Well, at the top of the list would be those who depend on talks with a dental student, misunderstanding of EPA standards and peer-reviewed scientific study, and junk gleaned from antifluoridationist websites and blogs instead of accurate information from legitimate sources.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  37. designafuture

    You guys don’t learn do you – personal comments and denigration are not the stuff of science.
    Try this: “Development of permanent and baby teeth occurs in the first 4 years of life. Incorporation of optimum amounts of fluoride into the tooth enamel at this stage, even before teeth erupt, helps reduce tooth decay throughout life”. That would be great if it were true!
    I recently had a Hamilton dentist berate me for suggesting my first born had all bar 4 of his teeth removed due to fluorosis. His educated guess was the it was caused by Enamel Hypoplasia, was probably generic and had nothing to do with fluoride. Being an inquisitive prick I sought information on what causes EH and found that it is typically caused by malnutrition, illness, infection or fever during tooth formation. Some medications and here it gets interesting, may affect developing teeth at the time of dosage. (note not concentration) High exposure to fluoride during enamel development is mentioned as is exposure to toxic chemicals at a very young age. The information also indicates that in many cases the exact cause of EH cannot be determined.
    Where does that leave me as a parent of a child with a massive problem? I am concerned that a dentist who was prominent in the campaign to re-fluoridate Hamilton’s water supply would tell me that fluoride was not a factor in my son’s condition when it in fact may have been and anyway he was only ‘guessing’.
    I have a bottle of fluoride tablets that carries a warning: “Do not use during pregnancy”. If fluoride is safe and beneficial why the warning?
    The label also cautions: “Do not use in children under 3 years of age” If fluoride is safe and beneficial why the warning?
    If there is some adverse effect of adding fluoride to water, as seems to be indicated by the warnings on the bottle of fluoride tablets then why is there no warning for under three year olds or pregnant women regarding the fluoridation of community water supplies?
    Given that my wife was prescribed fluoride tablets during pregnancy and my son’s teeth on eruption were discoloured with compromised enamel would it be unreasonable to conclude there may be a cause and effect going on?
    Another issue I have is that I lived for a number of years in a non-fluoridated community in Taranaki and then moved to fluoridated Hamilton. Over a fifteen year period I developed a number of medical conditions, the most painful of which were arthritis in my joints and relapsing polychondritis which inflames cartilage. I stopped ingesting fluoridated water around 18 months ago and have not had a relapse over that time (apart from a mild one following a 5 day visit to a fluoridated community) and my joint pains are all but gone. I have even surrendered my mobility card.
    I am not claiming the cessation of fluoridation is the prime mover of my improved quality of life but I sure as hell will be avoiding fluoride as much as possible as a precautionary measure.
    I think what you are ignoring is the research indicating that what may be therapeutic to one person may be poison to another and it is possible that applies to fluoride. Simply adopting a blinkered stance that dictates everyone benefits from ingesting a toxic by-product of an industrial manufacturing process, regardless of evidence from individuals who are well qualified in toxicology, science and medicine that there may be a problem is, in my humble view, a dangerous position to hold.

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  38. Design, or is it Trev, you say “That would be great if it were true!” Yet then proceed to offer nothing to support your claim. Do you not realise that if you are wanting to question what is supported by a lot of evidence that you really need to offer more that opinion.

    You are relying on nothing more than anecdotal evidence, at best, given your lack of credibility.

    You are quite welcome to interpret you personal history in a hatever way you want, and to take your own steps if you personally feel our current tap water is not safe. That would be acting as a responsible person. But you do not have the right to deny what is accepted to be a safe and effective health policy to the rest of your community. It is inhumane to dictate to others like this and we have made clear the majority supports the current situation.

    So stop moaning and drink your filtered water – yes I am sure you already filter your tap water so why interfere with others?

    >

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  39. Designafuture

    Teeth development occurs during the years of 0-8.

    “”High exposure to fluoride during enamel development is mentioned….”. Note the word “High”. Water is fluoridated at the very LOW level of 0.7 ppm.

    The only dental fluorosis in any manner attributable to water fluoridation is mild to very mild, a barely detectable effect which causes no adverse effect on cosmetics, form, function, or health of teeth. As Kumar, et al. have demonstrated mildly fluorosed teeth to be more decay resistant, many consider this effect to not even be undesirable, much less adverse.

    Due to the fluoride content of powdered infant formula, the use of fluoridated water to reconstitute this powder risks development of mild to very mild dental fluorosis. For those parents who may be concerned with even mild to very mild dental fluorosis, in spite of the decay preventive benefit, the ADA and the CDC have suggested they use non-fluoridated bottled water to reconstitute powdered formula, or simply use pre-mixed formula, most, if not all, of which is made with low-fluoride content water.

    The anecdote about your personal ailments is meaningless in the absence of valid, medical documentation of diagnosis and etiology of your symptoms.

    There is no valid, peer-reviewed research “indicating” toxicity of fluoride at the optimal level of 0.7 ppm.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  40. designafuture

    If fluoridation is a safe and effective health policy backed by over 60 years of sound science why has only a small minority of communities adopted it?
    Why is there a growing body of opinion out of the scientific community and universities around the world that the science of fluoridation needs revisiting.
    Why, given the Fluoride Information Service is charged with continually providing health and local authorities with the very latest material, is the 1999 York Review the only major study being put out to inform the debate.
    Especially when the York Review concluded the ‘evidence’ was of poor quality and inconclusive.
    UNICEF last year issued the following statement: “For decades we have believed that fluoride in small doses has no adverse effect on health to offset its proven benefits in preventing tooth decay. But more and more scientists are now seriously questioning the benefits of fluoride, even in small amounts”.
    “According to 1984 WHO guidelines fluoride is an effective agent for preventing caries ‘if taken in optimal amounts’. But a single ‘optimal’ level for daily intake cannot be agreed because the nutritional status of individuals, which varies greatly, influences the rate at which fluoride is absorbed by the body”
    UNICEF “It has long been known that excessive fluoride intake carries serious toxic effects. But scientists are now debating whether fluoride confers any benefit at all”.

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  41. Design (Trev) could you please private links and citations to your quotes from UNICEF and WHO? I mean genuine links, not to the anti-fluoride propaganda sources you rely on.

    >

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  42. Designafuture

    Seventy four percent of the United States can hardly be credibly termed a “small minority of communities”.

    There is no “growing body of opinion out of the scientific community and universities….”, simply a small body of opinion emanating from antifluoridationist websites.

    The York Committee did not like longitudinal, observational studies. The peer-review committees which assessed these studies, the respected scientific journals which published them, and the worldwide body of science and healthcare which has accepted them as being entirely valid, disagree with these York committee members. Additionally, as these members undoubtedly understood, the RCTs for which they called, are not possible for water fluoridation, and will never be done. Countless peer-reviewed scientific studies clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of fluoridation.

    There are not “more and more scientists now seriously questioning the benefits of fluoride”, simply the same small handful constantly quoted on every little antifluoridationist website. The “New York Coalition Opposing Fluoride”, a close affiliate of the New York faction, “FAN” constantly proclaims the 365 dentists and 550 MDs, worldwide, who oppose fluoridation. There are 175,000 dentists and 850,000 MDs in the United States alone. Even when coupled with the “Nobel Laureate Aarvid Carlsson” and the “oft maligned Phyllis Mullinex”, the scientists considered to be the “more and more scientists”, this number hardly seems impressive.

    Unicef is concerned with high levels of fluoride contamination in groundwater of underdeveloped countries.

    “Strategies for dealing with groundwater contaminated with either fluoride or arsenic are currently limited or unaffordable for many of the people affected. Substituting water sources using, for example, uncontaminated wells or rainwater harvesting, is often the best solution where such alternatives are available. In areas without alternative sources, more affordable household treatment methods are being developed and promoted.”

    “For over a decade, UNICEF has worked closely with governments and other partners in countries where fluoride and arsenic are serious problems, including in India and Bangladesh. UNICEF’s focus on both issues has been on strengthening the systems for monitoring water quality, facilitating water treatment by households and advocating for alternative water supplies when necessary.”

    —http://www.unicef.org/wash/index_water_quality.html

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  43. Quote from the article: “The beneficial effects of CWF results from both ingestion (particularly during tooth development in young children) and maintenance of an effective concentration of fluoride in saliva protecting existing teeth against decay throughout life.”

    I wonder if this is supported by goverment agencies and major health groups. I’ve never seen them support the idea that adults benefit from ingested fluoride. Can you show me any official statements that say that? The CDC in 1999 (as I recall) stated that ingested fluoride does increase the fluoride level in saliva, but the increase was very tiny and unlikely to produce any benefit. I don’t beleive there is any scienfitic evidence that ingested fluoride is beneficial for adults. Is there? I’m not talking about a topical effect when fluoridated water is in the mouth.

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  44. Fluoride from fluoridated water becomes incorporated into saliva which then bathes the teeth in a low concentration of fluoride all during the day, a very effective means of dental decay prevention. This incorporation into saliva occurs systemically.

    Fluoride opponents provide only a half-truth in regard to the increased level of fluoride in saliva. The paragraph in its entirety from which is generally plucked the quote about the “tiny” increase:

    “Saliva is a major carrier of topical fluoride. The concentration of fluoride in ductal saliva, as it is secreted from salivary glands, is low — approximately 0.016 parts per million (ppm) in areas where drinking water is fluoridated and 0.006 ppm in nonfluoridated areas. This concentration of fluoride is not likely to affect cariogenic activity. However, drinking fluoridated water, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, or using other fluoride dental products can raise the concentration of fluoride in saliva present in the mouth 100- to 1,000-fold. The concentration returns to previous levels within 1–2 hours but, during this time, saliva serves as an important source of fluoride for concentration in plaque and for tooth remineralization.”

    ——US Centers For Disease Control
    Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States
    Recommendations and Reports
    August 17, 2001 / 50(RR14);1-42
    http://www.cdc.gov/Mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

    Also from the CDC:

    “Because frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride each day will best reduce the risk for dental caries in all age groups, the work group recommends that all persons drink water with an optimal fluoride concentration and brush their teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. For persons at high risk for dental caries, additional fluoride measures might be needed. Measured use of fluoride modalities is particularly appropriate during the time of anterior tooth enamel development (i.e., age <6 years)."

    "The laboratory and epidemiologic research that has led to the better understanding of how fluoride prevents dental caries indicates that fluoride's predominant effect is posteruptive and topical and that the effect depends on fluoride being in the right amount in the right place at the right time. Fluoride works primarily after teeth have erupted, especially when small amounts are maintained constantly in the mouth, specifically in dental plaque and saliva. Thus, adults also benefit from fluoride, rather than only children, as was previously assumed."

    ——US Centers For Disease Control
    Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States
    Recommendations and Reports
    August 17, 2001 / 50(RR14);1-42
    http://www.cdc.gov/Mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

    "Fluoride has both a systemic and topical effect and is beneficial to adults in two ways. The first is through the remineralization process in enamel,
    in which early decay does not enlarge, and can even reverse, because of frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride. Studies have clearly shown that the availability of topical fluoride in an adult’s mouth during the
    initial formation of decay can not only stop the decay process, but also make the enamel surface more resistant to future acid attacks. Additionally, the presence of systemic fluoride in saliva provides a reservoir of fluo-
    ride ions that can be incorporated into the tooth surface to prevent decay."

    ——American Dental Association
    Fluoridation Facts
    2006

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  45. Steve has answered your question Doug.

    It always pays to check what the original articles actually say rather than rely on interpretations from motivated activists.

    >

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  46. Steven D. Slott, I assume your recent post was in response to mine. Thanks for listing some official statements. But I think you might agree with me that there are no official statements from goverment agencies that say ingested fluoride is beneficial for adults or children whose teeth have fully developed. None of the statements you posted say that. They mostly don’t talk about how fluroide gets into the saliva. Yes, the ADA said ingested fluroide was beneficial for adults, but that is not a government agency.

    Yes, there have been many statements about benefit from fluroide incorporated into the developing tooth enamel of young childlren and a topical effect from fluoride placed into the mouth. But those are different ways of getting fluoride exposure where there is evidence of effectivness. I don’t see any official statements or significant science saying ingested fluoride has a beneficial effect for adults or older children after it’s swallowed.

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  47. The science actually indicates that F incorporated during tooth development continues to supply benefits into old age.

    Like

  48. Doug

    Your statement: “I wonder if this is supported by government agencies and major health groups.”

    The US CDC is a government agency. The ADA is a major health group.

    The statements I posted make very clear the efficacy of fluoridation for both adults and children. Teeth are fully formed by adulthood. Incorporation of fluoride into saliva occurs systemically. Once again:

    “Fluoride works primarily after teeth have erupted, especially when small amounts are maintained constantly in the mouth, specifically in dental plaque and saliva. Thus, adults also benefit from fluoride, rather than only children as was previously assumed”.

    —–Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States
    Centers For Disease Control
    Recommendations and Reports
    August 17, 2001 / 50(RR14);1-42

    Significant science? Just let me know how many peer-reviewed studies you would reasonably like me to cite on the effectiveness of fluoridation.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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