Most cities in Tennessee add fluoride to their water systems. Experts have debated for and against the practice.
A new recommendation has put fluoride back in the spotlight, with babies in the center of the debate.
Julie Pusser prepares her 10-month-old’s formula only with bottled water.
“It’s all ready, I don’t have to boil it, sterilize it and it stays at the room temperature,” she said.
According to the American Dental Association’s website, Julie Pusser is doing the right thing for little Jacquline. The ADA now recommends parents not mix baby formula with fluoridated city water.
That recommendation comes on the heels of the National Research Council’s findings that, on a per body weight basis, infants and young children have approximately three to four times greater exposure to fluoride than adults.
Dan Stockin thinks cities shouldn’t add fluoride to their water supply, because he claims it causes big problems.
“When the teeth are forming, the fluoride affects the teeth,” Stockin said.
Overexposure to fluoride, or dental fluorosis, leaves permanent markings on the teeth.
Stockin feels keeping fluoride out of formula is one way to help stop dental fluorosis, but worries some families who have no choice but to use tap water.
“Who’s gonna pay for the expensive filtration system for a single mom who’s living on minimum wage? Who’s going to pay for the bottled water? Who’s going to get the information to the people who needed it the most?” he said.
When using formula, the ADA recommends parents use fluoride-free bottled water or use ready-to-feed formula that comes in a can or bottle.
Breast milk is the safest alternative.
The ADA’s recommendations are just for infants. The group, as well as state leaders in Tennessee, said putting fluoride in the water supply is safe and effective.