Fluoride Debate Continues

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by Denise on January 30, 2011 · 2 comments

in Physical Health

Physical Health

A mom knows that dental health is an important aspect of the child’s overall health and takes care that her child knows the basics of good oral hygiene. She also goes out of her way to provide foods that promote good dental health. If a problem arises, mom wants to address it as quickly as possible, knowing that it will only escalate and that dental care is expensive. Even if the single mom has access to dental healthcare insurance, the benefit usually is very limited.

The recent news about fluoride may have many single moms worried that they have inadvertently caused dental problems in their child by purchasing oral hygiene products that tout extra cavity protection of fluoride, but restraint and common sense is needed. The government is not recommending that the way people brush or take care of their teeth change.

Although fluoride is known to fight cavities, after nearly 50 years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may make a change to the amount of fluoride recommended in the nation’s water supplies. The change comes as reports of teeth streaked, spotted or even pitted escalate. Almost 40% of American children have some time of discoloration on their teeth, or fluorosis, although in most circumstances it is so minor that only a dentist can detect it.

In the 1940’s, scientists discovered areas of the United States where the residents had fewer cavities than they did in other areas of the country. These areas were rich in the mineral fluoride that is natural in soil and water. A battle has been waged ever since as fluoride has been added to the water supplies of municipalities. While health officials claim that fluoridation of the water supply is a major health accomplishment of the last 100 years, many citizens feel that fluoride in the water supply is an imposed medical treatment.

The fluoride levels differ from area to area. In regions of the country where people drink a lot of water, more fluoride is added to the water than in others. For instance, almost every resident in Maryland gets water from a fluoridated system, while in Hawaii, only 11% of the population gets fluoridated water. Across the country, approximately 64% drink fluoridated water.

Health official are not calling the slow rise in fluorosis a problem, according to the CDC. Most cases are only recognized by dentists. Often, they don’t even let their patients know about it. Health officials feel that a slight discoloration of the teeth is worth the benefit of the protection against cavities that fluoride offers.

A study done in 1986 and 1987 showed that in kids between the ages of 12 and 15, 23 percent showed that they had some level of fluorosis. A later study that examined the instances of fluorosis from 1999 to 2004 showed the percentage had risen to 41%.


About Denise

As a mom to three girls Denise knows the difficulties of being a single parent. Denise has been working to help single moms across the country since 2007. In her free time Denise enjoys camping, riding four wheelers and just spending time with her family.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gabrielle February 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm

There just seems to be so many things that are harmful for your teeth, fluoride in the water, soda, orange juice, and coffee.

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Savannah February 17, 2011 at 10:25 am

A lot of kids grow up having teeth problems because they drink far too many sugary juice drinks. If you can water down the juice or find substitutes, those are much better alternatives.

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