American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
warns of fluoride overdose.

Question: Why are children whose parents have college degrees and lived in fluoridated communities at risk for fluoridation overdose?

Answer: They brush their teeth. - Seriously... Read this press release from the organization of dentists who treat children.


  American Academy of
Pediatric Dentistry

For Immediate Release: July 31, 1998
Contact: Karen Fox, (312) 337-2169

Early Fluoride Exposure

Researchers have found that children today have easy access to fluorides and are more likely to be exposed to fluoride in the early stages of their growth and development. However, increased access to fluoride sources was determined to be a risk factor for damage to permanent teeth. Parents are warned: more is not better.

According to the study published in the July/August [1998] Pediatric Dentistry [magazine], children with educated parents who typically have better oral hygiene practices are at risk for fluorosis, a condition caused by overingestion of systemic fluoride during tooth formation resulting in discoloration of the permanent teeth. Fluorosis was found in 69 percent of children from high socioeconomic status families whose parents had college degrees and lived in fluoridated communities. Researchers determined that these children have increased fluoride exposure and were more likely to use fluoridated toothpaste and topical and systemic fluorides.

Early first dental visits are vital to preventing decay and oral conditions such as fluorosis. Fluorosis affects the permanent teeth, however it results from the child's intake of fluoride while permanent teeth are still developing. Pediatric dentists recommend scheduling a child's first dental visit when hen the first tooth appears or no later than the first birthday to determine risk factors and evaluate fluoride needs before the child's permanent teeth come in.

Most of the children in the study lived in fluoridated communities and used fluoridated toothpaste before age 2. More than half received fluoride supplementation. Using fluoridated toothpaste on children under age 2 increases their fluorosis risk because young children tend to swallow excess toothpaste. While fluoride supplements may be recommended for infants as young as six months, pediatric dentists say supplements are too often over-prescribed when a child is already getting an adequate amount of fluoride from their primary source of drinking water.