by Melissa Melton
The American Dental Association (ADA) has updated its guidelines on fluoride toothpaste for tiny kids, now recommending that a rice-sized amount be used on the gums of children as young as 12-to-14 months old:
According to the American Dental Association, preventing tooth decay can start a lot earlier than previously recommended. Old guidelines advised parents to wait until their children turned two before introducing them to fluoride toothpaste. Now, the association has recommended all parents to start using fluoride toothpaste on children younger than two.
The updated guidelines stated that it is safe to use a rice-grain sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for young toddlers starting at 12 to 14-months. Parents should only apply a smear of the toothpaste and teach their children to remember to always spit out excess paste when they are brushing their teeth. For children aged three to six, parents can start to use more toothpaste in the size of a pea-blob. The association reminded parents that children should learn to brush their teeth twice a day.
Fluoride has been shown in studies to cause a multitude of negative health effects, including fertility issues, cancer, cardiovascular disease, endocrine disruption, neurotoxic effects, pineal gland and gastrointestinal issues, among others. Fluoride was even once prescribed in Europe as a drug thatreduced thyroid activity.
Children in America are already being exposed to large amounts of fluoride as it is through widespread fluoridated water consumption, on top of the fact that in many cases that same fluoridated water is used to grow a lot of the nation’s produce. The majority of fluoride added to water supplies in this country is a byproduct of the phosphate fertilizer industry.
In addition, fluoride-based pesticides are also sprayed on our food supply. We’re also one of the only nations, along with Australia, that allows a fumigant called sulfuryl fluoride (which breaks down into inorganic fluoride) to be applied to certain foods after they have been harvested. Another fluoride-based pesticide, cryolite, is also applied to many crops in this country as well. Most people, including children, are exposed to this through eating green grapes, as cryolite is widely used in many U.S. vineyards.
We are continuously reassured by officials that fluoridating water supplies helps fight cavities.
According to the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), more people drink fluoridated water in this country than in the rest of the world combined, yet there is no significant difference in tooth decay between nations that fluoridate water and nations that don’t. Because it’s added directly to the water, there’s no way to tell how much of a “dose” a child is getting through drinking/cooking water when added to all the other sources in a child’s daily life.
Far and away, however, the largest dose of fluoride the average child gets in this country comes from toothpaste. Unfortunately, many children end up swallowing toothpaste when they are young and learning to brush, ingesting dangerously high levels according to FAN:
Use of fluoride toothpaste during childhood is a major risk factor for dental fluorosis, particularly for children who brush before the age of three and who live in areas with fluoridated water.
Children who swallow fluoride toothpaste can reach fluoride levels in their blood that exceed the levels that have been found to inhibit insulin secretion and increase blood glucose in animals and humans.
All fluoride toothpastes sold in the U.S. must now include a poison label that warns users to “contact a poison control center immediately” if they swallow more than used for brushing.
Just one 1 gram of fluoride toothpaste (a full strip of paste on a regular-sized brush) is sufficient to cause acute fluoride toxicity in two-year old child (e.g., nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea).
In 2009, U.S. poison control centers received over 25,000 calls related to excessive ingestion of fluoride toothpaste, with over 378 users requiring emergency room treatment.
The article quoted at the beginning of this article goes on to say that experts claim using small amounts of fluoride on teeth will reduce the chances of children developing fluorosis.
It’s kind of a twisting of words, isn’t it? Fluorosis is the discoloration and pitting damage that occurs to bone when it comes in contact with excessive fluoride; thus, using no fluoride at all will also reduce the chances of developing fluorosis.
Now the ADA says all parents should use fluoridated toothpaste on children under two, and begin with one-year-olds. How a baby who might not even have teeth or be able to walk will be able to even remotely comprehend the directions to spit and not swallow this potentially dangerous chemical was not explained.