As a parent, you will want to ensure that you do not give your children anything that could harm them in any way. However, when it comes to fluoride, deciding whether or not to give it to your children could be a tricky decision. Generally seen as safe and proven to be useful for dental care, fluoride is actually a toxin, which can cause illness if consumed in too large an amount. There has also been a lot of controversy surrounding fluoridation of drinking water and a possible link to cancer, resulting in many people switching themselves and their children to bottled spring water instead. So, should you really be giving your kids fluoride?
How Fluoride Can Be Beneficial
So, is fluoride good for your kid, or is it bad? Fluoride science and plenty of research has proven that fluoridated toothpaste can be hugely beneficial to dental care, with the potential to reduce cavities in kids from fifteen to thirty percent. Fluoridation of public water supplies has also been proven to reduce the risk of cavities in both kids and adults by around forty percent. However, if you look at the back of any conventional toothpaste tube, there is a warning to call Poison Control if more than a small amount is swallowed. Because of this, many parents are switching their children’s toothpastes to non-fluoride and natural varieties.
Although it’s definitely true that fluoride can have a range of benefits for your kids’ oral health, there are also many risks involved that a lot of parents are unaware of. Experts on environmental health have often pointed out that whilst topical exposure to fluoride such as those from toothpaste and mouthwash products can appear to be relatively safe to use, ingesting high levels of fluoride in order to treat teeth from the inside out can come with a number of risks. Evidence backs this up, with a recent Harvard study revealing that fluoride ingestion can affect children’s cognitive development and abilities. Additionally, a National Academy of Science report in 2006 declared that it was apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with bodily and cognitive functions when ingested in too high amounts.
Reducing Fluoride Intake
Overexposure to fluoride can cause more harm than good, which is why the Obama administration is currently working to lower drinking water fluoride levels in the seventy percent of U.S.A. water supplies that are treated with the chemical. Even so, however, studies have found that the risks are minimal with the levels of fluoride currently in such mediums. Ultimately, it is up to parents to decide whether or not to attempt to limit their children’s fluoride intake, either by consuming more natural and non-fluoridated foods or sticking to bottled, spring water. When it comes to oral care, there are a range of natural alternatives to fluoridated toothpaste that work just as well.
When it comes to fluoride intake, there are both benefits and risks to weigh up, making it an important parenting decision.