A panel of experts commissioned by Health Canada says fluoride levels in everything from water to the amount of toothpaste used, should be lowered to protect children’s health from over-exposure.

The panel is recommending reduced fluoride exposure because it’s worried children might be getting too much of the chemical from diet, water and toothpaste, leading to health problems such as teeth stains (fluorosis) and rare bone cancers.

But Dr. Stéphane Schwartz of the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s dental clinic says she’s heard these arguments before, especially from powerful anti-fluoride lobby groups.

“They like to go around, very aggressive, and they scare people.”

Schwartz says the fluoride levels seen in water and toothpaste use are far from excessive, and judging by the children’s teeth she sees on a regular basis, may not even be enough.

“Chances are that, mostly in Montreal and in Quebec, you cannot get too much fluoride, it’s impossible.”

The panel also suggests makers of infant formula reduce levels in their products.