Fluoride and Children

The highest doses of fluoride are going to bottle-fed babies.

Due to their sole reliance on liquids for food intake, infants consuming formula made with fluoridated water have the highest exposure to fluoride, by bodyweight, in the population.

Baby Drinking

Because infant exposure to fluoridated water has been repeatedly found to be a major risk factor for developing dental fluorosis later in life (Marshall 2004; Hong 2006; Levy 2010), a number of dental researchers have recommended parents of newborns not use fluoridated water when reconstituting formula (Ekstrand 1996; Pendrys 1998; Fomon 2000; Brothwell 2003; Marshall 2004). Even the American Dental Association (ADA), the most ardent institutional proponent of fluoridation, distributed a November 6, 2006 email alert to its members recommending that parents be advised that formula should be made with low or no-fluoride water. Unfortunately, neither the ADA nor its Australian equivalent have taken action to get this information into the hands of parents. As a result, many parents remain unaware of the fluorosis risk from infant exposure to fluoridated water.

In 2012 the US state of New Hampshire passed a law stating that parents will require notification that 6-month-olds should not be routinely fed infant formula mixed with fluoridated water to avoid discolouring babies unerupted teeth (fluorosis). Passed by the House, 253-23, unanimously by the Senate, and signed by the Governor, HB-1416 reads: If a public water supply is fluoridated, the following notice shall be posted in the water systems consumer confidence report:

“Your public water supply is fluoridated.¬†According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if your child under the age of 6 months is exclusively consuming infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, there may be an increased chance of dental fluorosis. Consult your child’s health care provider for more information.”

Fluoride may cause dental fluorosis.

The fluoridation program has massively failed to achieve one of its key objectives, i.e., to lower dental decay rates while limiting the occurrence of dental fluorosis (a discolouring of tooth enamel caused by too much fluoride). The goal of the early promoters of fluoridation was to limit dental fluorosis (in its very mild form) to 10% of children (NRC 1993, pp. 6-7). In 2010, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 41% of American adolescents had dental fluorosis, with 8.6% having mild fluorosis and 3.6% having either moderate or severe dental fluorosis (Beltran-Aguilar 2010). As the 41% prevalence figure is a national average and includes children living in fluoridated and unfluoridated areas, the fluorosis rate in fluoridated communities will obviously be higher. The British Governments York Review estimated that up to 48% of children in fluoridated areas worldwide have dental fluorosis in all forms, with 12.5% having fluorosis of aesthetic concern (McDonagh, 2000).

Fluoride may cause non-IQ neurotoxic effects.

Reduced IQ is not the only neurotoxic effect that may result from fluoride exposure. At least three human studies have reported an association between fluoride exposure and impaired visual-spatial organization (Calderon 2000; Li 2004; Rocha-Amador 2009); while four other studies have found an association between prenatal fluoride exposure and fetal brain damage (Han 1989; Du 1992; Dong 1993; Yu 1996).