Fluoridation promises to level cavity rates between poor and non-poor but fails, according to two studies in the May-June Pediatric Dentistry, reports the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF).
Low-income pre-schoolers from northern Manhattan, New York City (100% fluoridated), have significantly more cavities than pre-schoolers nationwide (62% fluoridated) and average more tooth decay than the entire U.S. population(1). Researchers report about one third of northern Manhattan's pre-school children studied averaged 6.39 decayed or filled tooth surfaces.
Maryland's poor 3- to 5-year-old's cavity rates are even worse. Despite Maryland's significant fluoridation rate (85.8%), "(t)he percentage of children with (cavities) increased by age, from 43% for three-year-olds to 62% for four-year-olds,"(2) report Maryland researchers.
Even avid fluoride promoters admit fluoridation's failure:
"...children with extreme (dental) disease often overwhelm the expected benefits (of fluoridation) and continue to develop new cavities despite fluoridated water availability," writes Columbia University's Burton L. Edelstein DDS who also is Director, Children's Dental Health Project(3). Edelstein reports that (85.9% fluoridated) Connecticut's poor, pre-school children's cavities increased despite water fluoridation.
"American children are fluoride-overdosed, indicated by increasing rates of dental fluorosis (white-spotted, yellow, brown-stained or pitted teeth). Yet, cavity rates go up rather than down. Clearly, fluoride fails to reduce poor children's tooth decay, the population dentists cite to justify spending taxpayers' dollars for water fluoridation," says lawyer Paul Beeber, President, NYSCOF. "'Fluoridation' should be removed from U.S. Senate Bill S.1626 and House Bill H.R.4476."
Is Fluoride the Cure or the Cause?
Studies show high blood-lead levels, prevalent among the poor, are linked to more cavities. (June, 1999 JAMA)
Silicofluorides, used by more than 90% of U.S. fluoridating communities, induce children's higher blood-lead levels, according to studies by Masters and Coplan(4).
Additionally, fluoride, itself, slightly above the dosage dentists' recommend, causes cavities (Burt/Eklund 1999; www.enn.com/direct/display-release.asp?id=5114 )
This evidence and more shows fluoridation fails to prevent, and may actually cause, low-income children's tooth decay. Nevertheless, spurred by organized dentistry, "posses" of citizens' groups, armed with misinformation but good intentions, and funded by ill-informed philanthropic organizations, are influencing unquestioning legislators to add fluoride chemicals to many U.S. communities.
Diet, not Fluoride, the Answer?
Lower socioeconomic groups who manifest highest decay rates, often, are also malnourished. Lack of nutrients in the womb grow weaker teeth(5). And sugar-rich, nutrient-poor diets foster decay in erupted teeth.
"Poor pregnant women and their children fed low-sugar, nutrient-dense foods will likely experience less tooth decay along with better overall health. Fluoridation only delivers adverse effects. Improve America's health and save money by eliminating water fluoridation, expensive fluoridation research, promotion and implementation," Beeber says.
(3) Access to Dental Care for Head Start Enrollees http://www2.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/hsb/about/init_pri/oralpaper/dental.htm
(4)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&li st_uids=11233755&dopt=Abstract http://www.dartmouth.edu/~rmasters/AHABS/bp.htm#Water
(5) Good Oral Health Begins in the Womb (ADA News Release) http://www.ada.org/public/media/newsrel/0202/nr-01.html