It’s been banned in most European countries. Critics call it a toxic industrial waste product. Its disposal is regulated by the EPA. Yet millions of people drink it every day and encourage their kids to brush their teeth with it. If you haven’t guessed, we’re talking about fluoride.
A recent report from the National Academy of Sciences recommends that the current level of fluoride in tap water be lowered, citing concerns about bone fractures and dental fluorosis. Other research has suggested links with brain function and behavioral problems.
Want your kids to have good teeth? Regular brushing with a natural toothpaste (no coloring, pesticides, anti-bacterials, or sweeteners) and flossing everyday will do the trick. Topical uses of fluoride toothpaste or fluoride treatments have been shown to be beneficial. Fluoridated water, however, shows little benefit in preventing tooth decay and has documented health risks. Learn more with this Fluoride fact sheet.