You’ve been told since childhood that fluoride is essential for strong bones and healthy teeth, but as the years go by, research continues to indicate that too much fluoride can cause more problems than it solves. In fact, a 2019 study found a shocking link between fluoride during pregnancy and diminished intelligence in children. It has caused many people to question whether the benefits of fluoride still outweigh the risks. Here’s what you should know.
The Health Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is often found in products like toothpaste and mouthwash, and for decades, Americans have been reminded of the importance of fluoride for strong teeth. Fluoride is believed to help prevent the overgrowth of bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, and it is essential for building and maintaining tooth enamel. Enamel is the hard “shell” of the tooth that gives it its hardness, and when it is strong and healthy, it is better at resisting decay.
The Risks Associated with Fluoride
Fluoride is essential for the human body, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that both children and adults are consuming too much of it. Most municipal water sources are fluoridated, which simply means the water facilities add fluoride to drinking water to aid in the prevention of tooth decay. Furthermore, the big-name toothpaste brands add fluoride to their products, as well. Aside from fluoridosis, which is a very common condition caused by too much fluoride in the body, a new study found that when fluoride is overutilized in pregnancy, it may cause lower intelligence in children.
The New Evidence
In 2019, a group of researchers from York University in Ontario found that pregnant individuals who had higher levels of fluoride in their urine had children with comparably lower IQs. The researchers observed 601 parent-child pairs and found that a very small increase of one milliliter of fluoride per liter of urine during pregnancy led to an IQ that was 4.5 points lower around age 3 or 4. While it may not seem like much at first, it’s comparable to the IQ drop seen in children who have been exposed to lead. Additional studies have shown that increased fluoride in the urine during pregnancy can cause other complications, including anemia and various adverse outcomes for the fetus itself.
What Can You Do?
From the time the egg implants itself in the womb until an infant is about six months old, there is no need for fluoride in their diet. This means that if you plan to become pregnant, it is perfectly safe for you to reduce your fluoride intake. In fact, with fluoridosis levels on the rise, many American households – especially those who use their city’s fluoridated tap water – are making the switch to fluoride-free toothpaste to help reduce the risks for themselves and for their children. WooBamboo offers fluoride-free toothpaste in three delicious flavors: Vanilla Mint, Bubble Berry, and Marshmallow. It’s good for you, it’s good for your kids, and it’s good for the environment, too! It contains 98% natural ingredients like diatomaceous earth and stevia packaged in a biodegradable and recyclable container.
While fluoride is crucial for the human body and it certainly does play a role in the development of healthy, strong tooth enamel, most Americans get far more fluoride than they need from their drinking water, diets, and traditional toothpaste. If you’re concerned about your fluoride intake, try WooBamboo’s delicious, eco-friendly, and fluoride-free toothpaste today.