Researchers found in a recent study that many popular juices for infants actually contain fluoride, and too much juice could mean exceeding the recommended daily intake of fluoride. The American Dental Association recommends using non-fluoridated water when mixing infant formula, so juice with fluoride seems somewhat counter-productive.
About the Study
Researchers tested samples from three different manufacturers. Out of 90 samples (apple, pear and grape flavors), all contained 0.11 to 1.81 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride. In comparison, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended lowering water fluoridation levels to 0.7 ppm because fluorosis (discoloration of the teeth and potential bone damage) was becoming such an problem in areas with fluoridation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this about fluorosis:
Fluoride intake from water and other fluoride sources, such as toothpaste and mouthrinses, during the ages when teeth are forming (from birth through age 8 ) also can result in changes in the appearance of the tooth’s surface called dental fluorosis. In the United States, the majority of dental fluorosis is mild and appears as white spots that are barely noticeable and difficult for anyone except a dental health care professional to see.
Excess exposure to fluoride has been found to sometimes damage baby teeth, and opponents of fluoridation have reacted strongly to this announcement. Experts say that fluoride works topically when used in the mouth and then removed (as with toothpaste or mouthwash). Thus, opponents of its use say that consuming the substance is entirely unnecessary and could cause damage if done in excess. Even fluoride proponents say that ingestion is not essential for cavity prevention, the basic function of fluoride.
The debate continues on whether fluoride is helpful at all, but most experts agree that too much fluoride is definitely a bad thing. Fluoride is not absolutely required in order to have healthy teeth, and it is not a nutrient, so many organizations and individuals are up in arms about this potentially toxic substance. Studies show that nearly all baby formula has a little fluoride in it already. The amount is so low that it’s considered trivial, but adding to it could cause harm to the child.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produced a tool where you can see how much fluoride is in the water in your community.
How much fluoride is in your water? Do you think it’s a healthy amount? Leave us a comment and let us know!