Pregnancy is such a critical point for mom-to-be and developing fetus. Certain food ingredients are consumed with no need for alarm during pregnancy. Still, pregnant women are advised to be cautious of what they put into their body, including anything that may have fluoride in it.
The use and consumption of fluoride has been controversial. Many believe that negative effects can take place for an unborn child if it is consumed during pregnancy. According to studies made by the world’s leading fluoride specialist, Professor A.K. Susheela, fluoride is a disease causing agent, which releases a neurotoxin that attacks the central nervous system, causes cancer, increases the likelihood of bone fractures, damages the liver and kidney, disrupts the thyroid gland, lowers IQ, causes dental fluorosis, and when ingested, actually does not help prevent cavities.
If fluoride can produce all of these problems for people in general, what problems can it potentially have for a mother who’s expecting? What problems can it have for the child him or herself?
Fluoride is known to fight cavities and tooth decay, while strengthening teeth. Many expecting parents are concerned with the health and development of their children. Many are told that fluoride intake during pregnancy will help fight cavities and improve the development of teeth during the first few years of their children’s life. What type of evidence or studies back up this controversy? When a well known expert such as Professor A.K. Susheela states her studies with supporting evidence, it is difficult to argue any other evidence of a here say. According to Professor A.K. Susheela, “Dental caries is not a fluoride related disease, it is a bacterial disease, which can be prevented if oral hygiene practises are promoted and calcium and vitamin C in the diet are given in adequate quantum to the child even before birth through maternal diet.”
The developing fetus and fluoride
Professor A.K. Susheela also states that problems in India have risen due to dental promotion of fluoride among patients who have dental fluorosis. Many of these patients tend to end-up with severe non-skeletal manifestations.
The intake of fluoride during pregnancy may cause a lot of damage to a developing fetus. According to fluoridealert.org (http://www.fluoridealert.org/health/brain/), 3 studies (Yu 1996; Du 1992; Han 1989) have found that fluoride accumulates in the brain of the fetus, causing damage to cells and neurotransmitters and 1 study (Li 2004) has found a correlation between exposure to fluoride during fetal development and behavioral deficits among neonates. It is important to be aware of the quantities of fluoride we intake. Fluoride can be found in water, toothpaste, black tea, and processed food.
Many people, including dental professionals, water companies, etc. encourage the use of fluoride. It is our choice to accept or deny this use.
A bit of history
Professor A.K. Susheela provides a little bit of history, which dates back in 1970 and 1980, stating that “Some of the UN Organisations tried their very best to promote fluoridation of water in India (inspite of prevailing health problems due to excess of fluoride) and the scientific community fought the battle and was able to convey to the concerned Organisation(s) that they shall not enter India with the message for Fluoridation and we won the battle. They were trying to use the developing world to promote fluoridation based on the concepts of the “donor” countries but did not work.”
She further states, “‘Peoples Health is the Nations’ Wealth’ and I hope the Rotary International would do everything possible to stop the cruel method of poisoning people through fluoridating drinking water in the name of prevention of Dental caries. This truly reveals that no Organisation/Association can be taken for granted. Their intentions while promoting fluoride need to be questioned.”