Health controversies

The Flouride Debate Is Back

A debate has been raging over the last 20-30 years about fluoridation and whether or not the supposed health benefits (less tooth decay) outweigh the negatives which include dental fluorosis-spotted, stained, or pitted teeth, none of which have ever been acknowledged by those in favour of fluoridation.

Opponents claim that while there may be some dental benefit from topical use (ie, via toothpaste) there is no evidence that supports systemic use (via water supplies) and evidence of side effects as listed above is increasing.

In the US, fluoride supplements for children have never been tested for safety and efficacy by the FDA.

Brian A. Burt of the University of Michigan School of Public Health states that, “Fluoride supplements should no longer be used for young children in North America…the risks of using supplements in infants and young children outweigh the benefits.”2

Euan Swan, author of the Canadian Dental Association’s (CDA) new fluoride supplement guidelines,3 said, The evidence supporting the effectiveness of dietary fluoride supplements is relatively weak… There’s better evidence indicating that they contribute to dental fluorosis.”4

The purpose of fluoridation is to reduce dental cavities in children. The most consistent predictor of cavities in children is past cavity experience, reported a recent National Institutes of Health panel.

Eating a lot of sugar or drinking sugared sodas, such as what kids with caries do, increases cavity risk. “And fluoride won’t help,” Reggie VanderVeen, a Wyoming dentist, stated in an Associated Press story on children’s tooth decay. “Sugar will beat fluoride every time,” he said.6

The notion that systemic fluorides are needed in nonfluoridated areas is an outdated one that should be abandoned altogether,” says Canada’s leading fluoride authority, Hardy Limeback, head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto and past president of the Canadian Association for Dental Research.7

This article has been taken from
Debunking Fluoride: Cavity Fighter or Toxic Intruder?
By Carol S. Kopf

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Visit to view a news report by the Adelaide (Australia) Today Tonight current affairs program. It is quite unusual to see such a debunking of the popular myths of flouridation of the water supply in mainstream media. Search for Flouride. (7/2010)

References and further reading

2. Brian A. Burt, “The Case for Eliminating the Use of Dietary Fluoride Supplements for Young Children,” Journal of Public Health Dentistry (Fall 1999): 269.
3. Euan Swan, “Dietary Fluoride Supplement Protocol for the New Millennium,” J Can Dent Assoc 66 (2000): 362-363.
4. Euan Swan, telephone interview with Carol S. Kopf, May 2000. See
5. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement, “Diagnosis and Management of Dental Caries Throughout Life ” (March 26-28, 2001).
6. “Dental Association Blames Children’s Tooth Decay on Too Much Soda Pop,” Associated Press (April 15, 2000).
7. Hardy Limeback, BSc, PhD, DDS, Letter of Concern, April 2000.
8. “Is there a need for fluoride supplements?,” Health Department of Western Australia, Dental Services.
9. Warren et al., “Systemic Fluoride Sources, Amounts, and Effects of Ingestion,”Cariology (October 1999): 695-707.
10. “The Story of Fluoridation”, National Institute of Dental Research.
11. Newbrun, “The Case for Reducing the Current Council on Dental Therapeutics Fluoride Supplementation Schedule,”Journal of Public Health Dentistry(Fall 1999): 263.
12. US Centers for Disease Control Fluoridation Census, 1992.
13. US Department of Health and Human Services, “Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General” (May 2000): 167.
14. IMS Health, a company that provides information to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.
15. F. Rojas-Sanchez et al., “Fluoride intake from foods, beverages, and dentifrice by young children in communities with negligibly and optimally fluoridated water: A pilot study,”Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 27 (August 1999): 288-297.
16. Levy et al., “Infants’ Fluoride Ingestion from Water, Supplements, and Dentifrice, Journal of the American Dental Association (December 1995): 1625.
17. Michael Downey, “A crack appears in the fluoride front,” Toronto Star (April 25, 1999).
18. M. S. McDonagh et al., “Systematic Review of Water Fluoridation,” British Medical Journal 321, no. 7265 (October 7, 2000): 855-859.
29. Douglas Carnall, “Website of the Week: Water Fluoridation.”
20. Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, “Benefits and Risks of Water Fluoridation,” report released in January 2001.
21. Seppa et al., “Caries Trends 1992-1998 in Two Low-Fluoride Finnish Towns Formerly with and without Fluoridation,” Caries Res. 34, no. 6 (November-December 2000): 462-468.

By Mark O’Brien