HICKSVILLE, N.Y., May 24 /PRNewswire/ — To avoid permanent tooth discoloration, the Canadian Dental Association advises against fluoride supplement use for children before their permanent teeth have erupted, at about 6 or 7 years old.

There is “…weak scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of fluoride supplements.” This was reported at a Canadian Consensus Conference on the Appropriate Use of Fluoride Supplements. “The use of fluoride supplements before the eruption of the first permanent tooth is generally not recommended,” says recently released CDA fluoride supplement guidelines and announced world-wide on the internet-based dental-public-health listserv, a forum for government and academic public health dentists and other fluoride policy makers.\\\\\\\\

“Studies show that tooth decay is declining in both fluoridated and non- fluoridated areas while dental fluorosis (white spotted, yellow or brown stained and sometimes crumbly teeth) is increasing, more so in fluoridatedareas,” says lawyer Paul Beeber, President of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation. “Furthermore, fluoride poses harmful systemic damage as well as dental damage,” says Beeber.

“New research shows that swallowed fluoride carries little, if any, benefit,” says Canada’s leading fluoride authority, dentist Hardy Limeback, head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto, and past-president of the Canadian Association for Dental Research. “Fluoride’s enamel strengthening effects are primarily topical, or when fluoride touches the outside of the tooth,” says Limeback. “Fluoride’s adverse effects occur upon ingestion. Fluoride gets into every cell of the body and can especially damage the bones and teeth.”

“Half of all ingested fluoride remains in the skeletal system and accumulates with age,” says Limeback. “Studies have linked fluoridation to hip fractures and high levels of naturally-occurring water fluoride to crippling skeletal fluorosis, a bone deforming arthritic-type disease endemic to India,” says Limeback.

A study in progress by Limeback shows that residents of fluoridated Toronto have double the fluoride in their hip bones than residents of non- fluoridated Montreal. “Worse, we discovered that fluoride is actually altering the basic architecture of human bones,” says Limeback. Ironically, “Here in Toronto we’ve been fluoridating for 36 years. Yet Vancouver, which has never fluoridated, has a cavity rate lower than Toronto’s,” says Limeback.

“Current fluoridation studies show that the benefit of fluoride added to water is minuscule but it has increased dental fluorosis. We are now spending more money treating dental fluorosis than we would spend treating new decay if water fluoridation halted,” says Limeback.

Children have become over-saturated with fluoride from food and beverages made in fluoridated cities, from the overuse or misuse of a growing number of fluoridated dental products, from fluoride containing pesticide residues in food, from industrial fluoride air emissions and from some fluoride-containing medicines, anesthetics and other products. Fluoride is also inhaled via ocean mist (ocean water and fish contain 1.4 ppm fluoride) and through showers and humidifiers using fluoridated water. Fluoride is found naturally in some foods like tea.

“The safety of long-term fluoride ingestion has not been proven,” says Limeback. “The notion that systemic fluorides are needed in non-fluoridated areas is an outdated one that should be abandoned altogether.” says Limeback. The American Dental Association (ADA) still recommends fluoride supplements for children from 6 months to 16 years old in non or low- fluoridated communities. “The ADA is clinging to outmoded ideas,” says Beeber. “And they are trailing behind the CDA by failing to protect our children.”

“Fluoride supplements and water fluoridation must stop immediately,” says Beeber.