Dr. Paul Connett
Monday, September 6, 2010
Abstract Water fluoridation is the practice of adding compounds containing fluoride to the water supply to produce a final concentration of fluoride of 1 part per million in an effort to prevent tooth decay. Trials first began in the US in 1945, but before any of these trials were complete, the practice was endorsed by the US Public Health Service in 1950. Since then fluoridation has been enthusiastically and universally promoted by US health officials as being a “safe and effective” for fighting tooth decay. However, even though most countries worldwide have not succumbed to America’s enthusiasm for this practice, their teeth are just as good, if not better, than those countries that have. The “50 Reasons” offered in this article for opposing fluoridation are based on a thorough review of the scientific literature as regards both the risks and benefits of being exposed to the fluoride ion. Documentation is offered which indicates that the benefits of ingested fluoride have been exaggerated, while the numerous risks have been downplayed or ignored.
Fluoridation’s role in the decline of tooth decay is in serious doubt. The largest survey ever conducted in the US (over 39,000 children from 84 communities) by the National Institute of Dental Research showed little difference in tooth decay among children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities (Hileman 1989). According to NIDR researchers, the study found an average difference of only 0.6 DMFS (Decayed Missing and Filled Surfaces) in the permanent teeth of children aged 5-17 residing in either fluoridated or unfluoridated areas (Brunelle and Carlos, 1990). This difference is less than one tooth surface! There are 128 tooth surfaces in a child’s mouth. This result was not shown to be statistically significant. In a review commissioned by the Ontario government, Dr. David Locker concluded:
“The magnitude of [fluoridation’s] effect is not large in absolute terms, is often not statistically significant and may not be of clinical significance” (Locker 1999).