Taking fluoride does not replace good dental habits

Posted: Thursday, August 09, 2007

I recently visited MayoClinic.com to find more information about oral fluoride supplements. The Mayo Clinic is an internationally renowned medical practice based in Rochester, Minn.

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This is what I learned: Taking fluorides does not replace good dental habits. These include eating a good diet, brushing and flossing teeth often, and having regular dental checkups.

There also are not recommended dietary allowances or recommended nutrient Intakes for fluoride. Daily recommended intakes for fluoride are generally defined as follows: Newborns to 3-year-olds should get 0.1 to 1.5 milligrams; 4- to 6-year-olds should get 1 to 2.5 mg; 7- to 10-year-olds should get 1.5 to 2.5 mg; and adolescents and adults should get 1.5 to 4 mg.

Remember the total amount of fluoride you get every day includes what you get from the foods and beverages you eat and what you may take as a supplement.

This total amount should not be greater than the above recommendations, unless ordered by your health care professional. Taking too much fluoride can cause serious problems to teeth and bones.

My concerns are that water drinking habits vary among individuals. We have no measurement of how much fluoride is consumed when eating processed foods. There are defined limits for safe intakes and health implications if you take too much. How can it be safe to put fluoride in our drinking water?

Linda Blefgen

Auke Bay

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