Dr. Liz on Fluorosis
Update 3.22.11: We’ve posted more information about the City of Richmond’s decision to lower the fluoride levels in city water.
Fluorosis is a condition caused by too much fluoride in a child’s diet. In mild cases, it can cause faint white splotches on teeth. In more extreme cases, teeth can be discolored and pitted.
In many cases, fluorosis is not caused entirely by excessive fluoride in drinking water. All sources of fluoride must be considered when evaluating a child’s exposure, including water (city water vs. well water), toothpaste selection, mouth rinses, etc.
Is Fluoride Safe For My Child?
The American Dental Association (ADA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agree that fluoride is safe in moderation.
The established safe range of fluoride in water is 0.7 – 1.2 parts per million (PPM). Studies continually show that fluoridation is safe and an effective measure against decay and cavities. The new recommendations state that 0.7 ppm are sufficient, so the water supplies will still be fluoridated to within previously accepted ranges.
The ADA has published research links and more resources here.
According to Dr. Howard Koh, HHS Assistant Secretary for Health:
“We view this as a continued affirmation of fluoridation as a public health advance, and we view this as a way of updating recommendations based on the best available science provided in this case by the EPA and other top scientists in the federal family,” the HHS health official said.
“So we want to continue to send a message that fluoridation is critical for oral health. It is a major public health achievement, and community water fluoridation should proceed according to the best science possible, and that’s going to be our message.”
Our practice continues to offer fluoride treatments and can advise you on the optimal level of fluoride for your child.