CHICAGO, September 19, 2017 – The American Dental Association (ADA) examined a study in Environmental Health Perspectives based on fluoride intake in Mexico and concludes the findings are not applicable to the U.S. The intake of fluoride in Mexico is significantly different from the U.S. In Mexico, fluoride is added to salt (known as salt fluoridation) and it also exists naturally in varying degrees in community water. In the U.S., fluoride is not added to salt and it is only added to water in cases where the natural occurrence of fluoride is lower than the recommended level to prevent tooth decay. The ADA continues to endorse fluoridation of public water as the most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.
The authors of the study suggest that prenatal exposure to fluoride may cause lower IQ in children. However, because it is unknown how the subjects of the study ingested the fluoride – whether through salt, water, or both – no conclusions can be drawn regarding the effects of community water fluoridation in the U.S. Moreover, according to the ADA, the best available scientific evidence shows no association between the U.S.-recommended amount of fluoride used to prevent tooth decay and IQ.
More than 70 years of research and practical experience has shown that fluoridation is safe and effective. Fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making teeth more resistant to decay.
Fluoridation has been named by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of 10 great health achievements of the 20th century, and more than 100 U.S. and international health organizations including the World Health Organization recognize the public health benefits of community water fluoridation for preventing dental decay.
*Original press release online at http://www.ada.org/en/press-room/news-releases/2017-archives/september/ada-responds-to-study-regarding-fluoride-intake-in-mexico