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Fluoride levels


Until recently fluoridated scheme water contained fluoride at 1 part per million ( ppm) and recently the US FDA has reduced the recommended level to 0.6 ppm over concerns of increasing fluorosis in American teenagers.

Western Europe (with the exception of parts of the U.K. ) has taken fluoride out of water supplies  twenty years ago. However, many bottled water suppliers include fluoride in their product.

Fluoride levels in adult toothpaste ( including the toothpaste you may have  used during pregnancy ) are 1500 to 2000 ppm, and thus the amount of toothpaste you need to ingest to equal the 1 ppm in fluoridated water is very small.  Fluoride levels in children’s toothpaste is capped at 500 ppm. Ffluoride toothpaste can be toxic if swallowed in large amounts  Extended consumption while the teeth are forming can result in fluorosis. This is why young children should not use fluoride toothpaste except under close supervision

Recent recommendations by the US FDA and followed by toothpaste manufacturers include warnings on toothpaste ingestion for children on the tubes and packaging.

The American Dental Association (ADA) sent an email alert to its members of their recommendation to parents to not use fluoridated tap water to make infant formula November of 2006. A few days later, the CDC followed suit.

 

Function of Fluoride


Fluoride is meant to interact at the chemical structure level of enamel, replacing hydroxyapatite, forming a more-decay resistant material called fluorapatite.  This structure is meant to be stronger and more resistant to caries or tooth decay.

The issue has been controversial for as long as fluoride has been forced upon populations. Almost all of Europe has taken fluoride out of scheme water almost 20 years ago and the concerns of fluoride in toothpaste have risen as our experience with this revised approach of fluoride application has grown. In addition to toothpaste, fluoride is added to 70 percent of U.S. public drinking water supplies.

Refer to the discussion under "Fluoride" around the limited thickness of the fluorapatite in tooth enamel that has now bee demonstrated, questioning this as a realistic benefit of fluoride.

 

Concerns over Fluoride


As a general population we should be aware of demonstrated concerns over

-  Fluorosis (excessive fluoride in teeth and bone structure) especially in young children and developing adolescents

- Learning disabilities in children exposed to high fluoride intake levels

- Intelligence levels in children

As of January 2011, 24 studies have reported an association between fluoride exposure and reduced IQ in children. In one study, the difference in percentage of bright and normal to higher intelligence children in the low fluoride city as opposed to the percentage in the high fluoride area was 28 vs.8%.

A new cancer study from India suggests that fluoride is a contributing factor to osteosarcoma, or bone cancer - but just how much fluoride intake causes the uncommon disease is not clear.

In addition to toothpaste, fluoride is still added to public drinking water supplies in most of U.S.A and a number of other countries.

 

Fluoride and caries prevention


There a number of studies comparing populations with fluoride in water as opposed to populations without fluoride. These have shown or are suggesting there is no real or statistical difference in the prevention of caries between the two groups.

 

Fluoride and remineralisation of the enamel


It has long been believed that fluoride changes the main mineral in tooth enamel, hydroxyapatite, into a more-decay resistant material called fluorapatite.  Recently it has  been determined that the protective shield fluoride forms on teeth is up to 100 times thinner than previously believed. This raises questions about how this renowned cavity-fighter really works. New research found that the fluorapatite layer formed in this way is only 6 nanometers thick -- meaning it would take almost 10,000 such layers to span the width of a human hair.                                                            " The scientists question whether a layer so thin, which is quickly worn away by ordinary chewing, really can shield teeth from decay".