Fluoride supplements are prescription drugs administered to children who live in non-fluoridated communities. They were never FDA tested because sodium fluoride was on the market before FDA testing was required in 1938.
"There is weak and inconsistent evidence that the use of fluoride supplements prevents dental caries [cavities] in primary teeth," according to a systematic review of fluoride supplement research published in the November 2008 Journal of the American Dental Association. The authors could find only one study, from China, showing any fluoride cavity-preventing benefit to primary teeth and that study was probably biased with a high withdrawal rate, the authors write.
They report that mild-to-moderate dental fluorosis (white spotted and/or yellow teeth) is a significant fluoride supplement side effect.
Fluoride supplements, although a prescription drug, were never FDA [Food and Drug Administration] tested for safety or effectiveness because sodium fluoride was on the market pre-1938 before FDA testing laws were enacted.(1)
In 2007, the American Dental Association (ADA) reported on its website that fluoride supplements put children six and under at significant risk of permanently discolored teeth; but never shared that information with the American public, pediatricians or MD's who still prescribe fluoride supplements to toddlers. (2)
"This review confirmed that, in non-fluoridated communities, the use of fluoride supplements during the first 6 years of life is associated with a significant increase in the risk of developing dental fluorosis, write researchers Ismail & Bandekar and first published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, February 1999, (3) but posted to the ADA's website July 2007.
Fluoride supplements sought to achieve a similar effect as fluoridation of the water supplies when it was believed that ingested fluoride reduced tooth decay. However, the Centers for Disease Control now reports that fluoride's purported beneficial effects are topical (4). Swallowing fluoride only exposes children to fluoride's adverse health effects ( http://www.FluorideAction.Net/... ), such as dental fluorosis.
"So there is no good reason to swallow fluoride via supplements or the water supply," says attorney Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.
Studies link dental fluorosis to children's kidney damage (5) and bone fractures (6).
"While fluoride ingestion is proclaimed a significant cavity reducer, there is no valid science to support that," says Beeber.
Up to 48% of school children sport dental fluorosis, the outward sign of fluoride toxicity, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). (7)
In the Fall 1999 Journal of Public Health Dentistry, dental researcher and former dental journal editor Brian A. Burt, Ph.D., M.P.H., B.D.Sc., University of Michigan Emeritus Professor, writes:
"It is therefore concluded that the risks of using supplements in infants and young children outweigh the benefits. Because alternative forms of fluoride for high-risk individuals exist, fluoride supplements should no longer be used for young children in North America."(8)
- August 2000 letter from NJ Assemblyman Kelly to Senator Robert Smith http://www.fluoridealert.org/...
- "Fluoride supplements and fluorosis: a meta-analysis," Community Dentistry & Oral Epidemiology, 1999 Feb;27(1):48-56, by Ismail & Bandekar .
- "Dose-effect relationship between drinking water fluoride levels and damage to liver and kidney functions in children," Environmental Research,2007 Jan;103(1):112-6. Epub 2006 Jul 10, by Xiong, et. al
- "Dental and Early-State Skeletal Fluorosis in Children Induced by Fluoride in Brick-Tea," Fluoride 2005;38(1):44-47 Cao, et. al
- "The case for eliminating the use of dietary fluoride supplements
for young children," Journal of Public Health Dentistry, Fall 1999, by