February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Spearheaded by the American Dental Association, “this month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers, and many others.”
Tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues are alarmingly high among America’s youth. No doubt, instilling good oral hygiene habits in children can be the key to keeping such problems at bay and ensuring a lifetime of dental health. Unfortunately, brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are up against other threats to the oral health – as well as the overall well-being – of our kids. One of the most widespread of these threats, at least in the U.S., is fluoridated tap water.
We have written frequently about the health risks of fluoridated water, whether it be a link to thyroid problems or its recognition as a harmful neurotoxin. Recently, a study has suggested a link between fluoridated water and high lead levels in children.
Published in November 2017 in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the study found that children who drink fluoridated tap water have higher blood-lead levels (BLL) than children who drink bottled water.
Why is this a concern? It is because there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered to be safe and the behavioral and neurological effects of lead are considered permanent and irreversible.
According to the World Health Organization, young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead. Specifically, lead can affect children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence, behavioral changes, and lower educational attainment. Lead exposure can also cause anemia, hypertension, and renal impairment.
Many other industrialized countries such as Japan and most of Western Europe have stopped adding fluoride to their water supplies due to health concerns such as this as well as skepticism about the effectiveness of fluoridated water as a way to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Nevertheless, the United States still adds fluoride to municipal water supplies reaching nearly 211 million Americans. As of 2012, more than 67 percent of Americans receive fluoridated water.
The recent study linking elevated lead levels and fluoridated tap water, as well as the other dangers posed by fluoridation, have led to numerous petitions on change.org pushing for an end to municipal water fluoridation.
At Assure A Smile, we support such efforts. Our holistic dental practice uses neither fluoride nor mercury in any procedures, so you can rest assured knowing that your trips to the dental office will never expose you to toxic chemicals that may adversely affect your health.
Assure A Smile: Miami Holistic Dentistry
At Assure A Smile, we partner with our patients to help them develop healthy, natural, and effective oral hygiene habits as part of an overall wellness strategy and holistic healthcare approach. To learn more about the importance of holistic healthcare and how to develop healthier habits for a better you, please contact us online or call us at 305-274-0047.