Fluoride first rose in popularity in the mid-20th century when it was discovered that residents living in areas with naturally high levels of fluoride in the water have stronger and healthier teeth than those without the supplement.
Subsequent research led to fluoride being added to the water to help strengthen teeth and bones in the general population.
Today, it isn’t just in the water, it’s in toothpaste and a variety of other products. Unfortunately, some studies today also suggest that there is a link between fluoride consumption and an increased risk of cancer.
It’s worth noting that this research is limited to rats and hasn’t been borne out in human studies yet. In short, don’t give up the fluoride or stop taking your children to a reputable paediatric dentist Sydney yet.
Other studies have suggested there could be a link between fluoride consumption during pregnancy and reduced intellectual ability in children. Of course, this is difficult to study effectively.
How It’s Studied
The study involved assessing the children born over several years in a specific area with at least half of them living in places that added fluoride to their water.
At the age of four, the children all undertook IQ tests in accordance with the Wechsler Primary and pre-school intelligence standards. The results of this study showed that women who had higher levels of fluoride during pregnancy had children with lower IQ scores.
Although one study cannot be considered conclusive proof, it is enough to raise questions and, when erring on the side of caution, make sure expecting mothers reduce fluoride intake. At least while they are pregnant.
The biggest issue for this study and future studies is that it is only one possible reason for the reduction in IQ. Genes, lifestyle, and other factors can also affect the IQ of an unborn child, creating a controlled study to assess the severity of the impact of fluoride is difficult.
As mentioned, this is one study, and more are needed to confirm or expand on the findings. However, if you’re pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant it is advisable to assess your fluoride consumption and reduce it.
The simplest way to do this is to check with your water board. Not all treatment centers add to the water. If you’re in an area that dos you’ll want to invest in a water filter at home. This will remove any fluoride and reduce the potential harm to your unborn child.
Of course, you’ll still be exposed to fluoride in toothpaste and other products. But, you can check these ingredients and decide whether you should be using them or not.
At the moment, the studies are too small and too vague to confirm the role of fluoride in IQ. This means there are not yet guidelines regarding the safe amount of fluoride that can be consumed daily.
In other words, you’ll have to check the products you’re using and decide whether to have them or not, based on their fluoride content.