Fluoride Action Network

Ottawa: Some questions about the safety of ingesting fluoride

Source: The Ottawa Citizen | October 29th, 2012 | By Michelle Black
Location: Canada, Ontario

Re: City dismisses fears over fluoride in water, Oct. 20.

As a practising dental hygienist, I have taken a keen interest in fluoride throughout my career, more so recently as I’ve become concerned about what affect chemicals in personal products, including toothpaste might have on my body.

So when the City of Ottawa says it’s safe to drink our municipal tap water, which includes fluoride, I wondered if that was true.

We’re told it’s deemed safe for everyone to consume. Doesn’t matter how much we ingest, how old we are, where we live or if we have health problems.

I questioned this because, in my 18 years as a dental hygienist, I’ve seen evidence of excessive fluoride ingestion on people’s teeth and I know how brown patches on a teen’s teeth can affect their mental health. I know if people use formula to feed their baby I’m to advise against use of tap water. It can contain 250 times more than nature passes on through breast milk.

I know there are places like China and India where the naturally occurring fluoride in water is crippling bones and has destroyed teeth. Only eight countries in the world actually fluoridate tap water. The citizens of these countries also have the distinction of having the highest rates of arthritis and thyroid disease, both side effects of excessive ingestion of fluoride.

Dr. Hardy Limebeck, past president of the Canadian Association of Dental Research, has publicly spoken out about their scientific findings, revealing that it’s not necessary to be ingested, that its purpose is better served when applied directly to the tooth.

Dr. Paul Connett, professor emeritus in Chemistry at St. Lawrence College in Caton [sic: Canton], N.Y. is another scientist who has spoken out publicly against the need to put fluoride in municipal water.

So my natural inclination is to encourage people to improve their oral health by daily care, including brushing two to three times per day, with a soft toothbrush and floss at least once.

Watching what and when you eat is important as well.

A dental professional is well-positioned to assess the risk of decay and whether there is a need for fluoride. But I’m still on the fence about the “safety” of ingesting it.

Michelle Black, RDH, Confident Smiles Independent Dental Hygiene, Ottawa