NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Healthy People 2020, America's poorest children suffer high tooth decay rates, double that of non-poor children. Seventy-five years of water fluoridation failed to narrow oral health disparities between haves and have nots. Cavities are linked to poverty, malnutrition and inability to get dental care; not to fluoride deficiency. Further, malnutrition, more prevalent in low-income families, is linked to more fluoride-induced tooth damage (dental fluorosis), reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
Paul Connett, PhD, FAN Director says, "In honor of Children's Dental Health Month, everyone reading this must contact their local and state legislators. Tell them to stop funding and/or implementing fluoridation. A large body of evidence shows fluoride is neurotoxic. We shouldn't sacrifice children's mental health to continue a failed dental health program."
Healthy People 2020, a project of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, reports: 66% of 6-9 year-olds and 60% of 13-15 year-olds from the lowest income families experienced tooth decay compared to 33% of non-poor. The uninsured or publicly-insured suffer more from untreated decay because most dentists shun them.
Connett says, "Most dentists prefer to treat the water rather than the teeth of low-income folks."
Current research (e.g. Irigoyen-Camacho 2015; Kajale 2015; Whitford 1990) supports a 1952 Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) study linking poor nutrition, especially calcium intake, to increased prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis – factors also linked to cavities.
Fluoridation began with the discovery that people consuming water naturally high in fluoride had discolored teeth with less cavities. Over-zealous dentists urged supplementation of "fluoride deficient" water supplies to equalize decay rates across America without safety studies. Instead, they spread dental fluorosis. Today over 70% of community drinking water supplies are fluoridated. Yet, tooth decay is now a national crisis along with dental fluorosis – which has skyrocketed.
We need safer ways to protect children's teeth, such as the Childsmile program in Scotland. A healthy diet, good oral hygiene, and access to dental care are prerequisites for healthy teeth. Consuming a fluoride-free diet doesn't cause tooth decay.
Lack of access to dental care is fueling a dental health crisis. Pew Charitable Trusts in 2012, reported that preventable dental conditions made up more than 830,000 emergency room visits in 2009 – up from 16% in 2006. JADA reported 101 deaths from the consequences of untreated tooth decay
SOURCE Fluoride Action Network