Written by SafBaby Founders Sandra Blum and Samantha Fox Olson

The fluoride controversy makes us wonder who truly benefits from pouring this hazardous waste into our drinking supply.

Living in one of those states that fluoridates its water, we feel the frustration of being “medicated” without our consent. Since ingestion of fluoridated drinking water can lead to unnecessary and detrimental health effects in our babies and toddlers we felt this would be a great topic to cover.

The Controversy Over The Dental Benefits Of Fluoride

Michael Connett of the Fluoride Action Network wrote:

Fluoride advocates often claim that the reduction in tooth decay that has occurred since the 1950s is the result of the widespread introduction of fluoridated water. In 1999, for example, the Centers for Disease Control stated that “as a result [of water fluoridation], dental caries declined precipitously during the second half of the 20th century.” As support for this assertion, the CDC published the following figure:

FIGURE 1: Percentage of population residing in areas with fluoridated community
water systems and mean number decayed, missing (because of caries), or filled
permanent teeth (DMFT) among children aged 12 years – United States. 1967 – 1992.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control (1999).
Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Fluoridation
of Drinking Water to Prevent Dental Caries. MMWR 48:933-40.

What the CDC failed to mention is that tooth decay rates have “precipitously declined” in all western countries,  irrespective of whether the country ever fluoridated its water. (See second graph below.)

SOURCE: FAN Data from the World Health Organization
– http://www.whocollab.od.mah.se/
Graph produced by Chris Neurath, Fluoride Action Network

Fluoridated Water For Infants?

Those most at risk of ingesting too much fluoride are infants. “Due to their small size, infants receive up to 400% more fluoride (per pound of body weight) than adults consuming the same level of fluoride in water.” They also cannot excrete fluoride as efficiently or as much as adults. Further, many babies are fed formula. Formula is often mixed with tap water or filtered water, but maybe not filtered to eliminate fluoride. Knowing this, it is so hard to see parents giving their babies fluoridated water. Of course, the parent is just doing what they think is best for their child, but marketing tools have mislead them.

Infants are the most vulnerable to fluoride toxicity. Due to their small size, infants receive up to 400% more fluoride (per pound of body weight) than adults consuming the same level of fluoride in water. Not only do infants receive a larger dose, they have an impaired ability to excrete fluoride through their kidneys.


“Newborn babies have undeveloped brains, and exposure to fluoride, a suspected neurotoxin, should be avoided,” notes Hardy Limeback, a member of a 2006 National Research Council panel on fluoride toxicity, and former President of the Canadian Association of Dental Research.

Fluoride is linked with other health problems as well, including weakened bones, reduced thyroid activity and possibly bone cancer in boys, according to a recent report from a team of Harvard scientists, the US National Research Council and other recent studies.

A Dentist Speaks Out Against Fluoride

The Fluoride Action Network and Dr. Bill Osmunson D.D.S, a dentist for over 30 years with a Masters in Public Health and Nutrition and Health Education, created a must see for all parents facing the decision “to fluoridate or not to fluoridate?”

In this 5 minute video, Dr. Osmunson explains why he once promoted fluoridation as well as why he is now aggressively against it.

Fluoride’s Impact on IQ

The Fluoride Alert Organization states:

Fluoride’s ability to damage the brain represents one of the most active areas of research on fluoride toxicity today.

Concern about fluoride’s impact on the brain has been fueled by 18 human studies (from China, Mexico, India, and Iran) reporting IQ deficits among children exposed to excess fluoride, by 4 human studies indicating that fluoride can enter, and damage, the fetal brain; and by a growing number of animal studies finding damage to brain tissue (at levels as low as 1 ppm) and impairment of learning and memory among fluoride-treated groups.”2

According to the US National Research Council, “it is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain.

Safe Alternative Measures: Avoiding Excessive Fluoride

For infants, the safest alternative is breast milk. Mom’s body will filter out excessive fluoride and is the best way to nourish babies until they are at least 12 months old.

A recent investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that over-exposure to fluoride among infants is a widespread problem in most major American cities. EWG’s study found that, on any given day, up to 60% of formula-fed babies in US cities were exceeding the Institute of Medicine’s “upper tolerable” limit for fluoride.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that up to 48% of US school children are fluoride overdosed and sport dental fluorosis – 4% of it severe. Dr. Osmunson said it can cost tens of thousands of dollars over the years to cover dental fluorosis for people who can afford this out-of-pocket expense.

Also, our babies and children swallow toothpaste nearly each time they brush their teeth. So, choosing a fluoride-free toothpaste is one step in the right direction.

Knowing how much fluoride your baby is getting through daily water intake is important. Again, the recommended excessive level for babies from the EPA is 2.0 mg/L. To find the average of fluoride in your tap water, go here.

Take Action to End Fluoridation Now

“Water is supposed to be safe for everyone. Why add a chemical that makes it knowingly unfit for young children? The US should follow Europe’s lead and end fluoridation,” says Michael Connett, Project Director of the Fluoride Action Network.

We should have the right to supplement with fluoride as we see necessary. Since reverse osmosis filtration is the most effective way to filter fluoride out of our tap water (and this can be quite expensive), we should have the right to keep it out of our tap water.

Tell your Congressional representatives you want an end to fluoridation now.

Interview with Fluoride Expert, Carol Kopf of the Fluoride Action Network

Next in the series of posts on fluoride is an interview with fluoride expert, Carol Kopf of the Fluoride Action Network entitled Children and Fluoride FAQ – A Must Read For Every Parent! Find out what the excessive level is for young children, how you can reduce exposure, what kind of fluoride is commonly used in tap water, what foods contain fluoride and more.

Related Posts 

Children and Fluoride FAQ – A Must Read For Every Parent!
Is Fluoride Needed To Prevent Tooth Decay?
Does Your Infant’s Formula Contain Fluoride? Yes, They All Do!
This Fluoride Free Toothpaste Tablet May Be The Safest Toothpaste Available For Children