Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fluoride

I just read an article about a town (interestingly, the first town that had it's water fluoridated) questioning the use of fluoride in it's city water supply.

We have well water with a reverse osmosis drinking system, so there is no fluoride in my water, but I did a little research on fluoride and it's effects when our former pediatrician prescribed fluoride drops to us when Big Kid was a baby.

I was feeling guilty because I kept forgetting to get the prescription filled, so I did some Google research to figure out exactly how my child might suffer as a result of my forgetfulness. What I found was surprising, it turns out that not everyone is so sure that a daily fluoride supplement is a good thing.

I discussed it with my pediatrician and he shrugged off my concerns. I got the drops and still felt wary about giving them, something just seemed weird about ingesting some chemical daily for the health of your teeth. So, despite my guilt and uncertainty, I just didn't give them to him.

When Big Kid turned four I took him to the dentist for the first time. Luckily, his teeth were perfect. I did allow them to administer the fluoride at the appointment, but told the dentist about my misgivings. He knew exactly why I was concerned and said that although he doesn't think fluoride usually causes long term harm, what I was doing was obviously working and if I didn't want to give it to my children as a supplement, he was fully supportive of that, and not concerned about their dental health as long as they brushed regularly and had their cleanings and fluoride treatments once a year.

So, my boys don't get fluoride via supplements or our water. This might be one of those "me being paranoid to justify my laziness" sort of things but so far I'm feeling pretty confident in this decision.

I just thought I'd share that article with you (read the comments too) in case any of you are feeling guilty about forgetting the fluoride drops.

12 comments:

Casey said...

We have fluoride in our water but I've never heard of the drops. My parents got my teeth sealed when I got my adult teeth and I've never had a cavity, same with my sister and we are pushing 30. Something to think about!

Oh and I never floss and just brush 1-2 times a day. I think it's all the sealant!

Dre the Texican said...

Glad you brought this up. Here's another nugget: http://www.fluoridealert.org/health/cancer/osteosarcoma.html

There was also an article about this in the WSJ a few years ago.

JenC the Dentist said...

I'm a dentist, so this subject really raises my hackles. I'm pro-fluoride all the way because it stengthens tooth structure, making it less prone to decay. I'm glad to see you put it out there, though, because it is always good to debate, research and make your own conclusions!

I read Dre the Texican's article and found it interesting that there was no increase in incidence osteosarcoma, until the fluoridated water levels increased above 45ppm. As fluoridated water levels are usually kept between 0.7 and 1.2 ppm, this represents an amount 40 or more times above the normal fluoridation!

My conclusion? A little fluoride is a good thing. And like most things you can have too much of a good thing!

Thanks for opening this line of discussion. Love you and love your blog

-Jen the dentist

nyscof said...

Here's an article about fluoride supplements (don't use them) on pediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon's website (pediatrician to the stars)

http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/pediatricks/fluoridesupp.asp

Fluoridation 101
http://www.orgsites.com/ny/nyscof

News Releases:
http://tinyurl.com/6kqtu

Rae said...

Interestin', we have a well and RO unit as well, no fluoride here.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Interesting. I just succumbed to the mommy guilt and had all 3 boyz' fluoride prescriptions filled, so they all take one chewable pill a day. So I'm glad to hear that if we skip a day (or three) I don't need to fret.

(Fret is such an old fashioned word, isn't it???)

momtoabean said...

I filled my daughters prescription for flouride. And its sat in my glove box every since...that was prolly about a year ago. Oopsy.

txchic said...

My pedi. told us that as long as we ate enough food bought at the grocery store, our kids would get fluoride from that. For example, the water added to chicken, canned fruits, veggies, etc. all has fluoride in it. He said the concern came decades ago when so much was home grown and with well water. You're doing a great job, mom. ;-)

katie b said...

My aunt was telling me a few years ago about the floride debate. Just curious, do you use toothpaste with floride in it?

Katie

Cristin said...

I totally lie to my pediatrician about the stupid flouride drops... I don't give them either....

Domestic Spaz said...

We have well water and have kept the kids from fluoride until we were sure they wouldn't swallow the toothpaste. Now they brush with it and our oldest uses a rinse. I've never given them drops. I was raised with well water myself and never was given any drops or supplements other than what was in my toothpaste.

Sam said...

Our city water has fluorine in it so we use fluorine-free toothpaste.