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There have always been naysayers on the topic of fluoride, but a recent study has some people alarmed. The reason for this unease is that this study linked fluoride to lower IQ in children. Should we be concerned? And how concerned should we be, when fluoride is in most of our drinking water?

The first thing to consider is that fluoride is a natural substance. It comes from fluorine, and it’s found in soil, water, and food. It’s also added to toothpaste, mouthwash, and tap water. Why? Because it’s been well-documented that fluoride is very effective in fighting tooth decay and cavities in people of all ages. Adding it to the drinking water in a community is a cost-effective way to make sure everyone is being exposed to fluoride, and it is far less expensive than the dental care necessary once people are suffering from tooth decay and cavities.

The new research, coming out of Canada, found a link between fluoride in maternal urine and lower IQ scores in kids. To clarify, it actually should a link with lower IQ in boys, with no difference in IQ for girls. What’s more, the research doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny, because it doesn’t meet certain benchmarks scientists use to distinguish causation from correlation. Even the researchers who participated in the study stopped shy of making sweeping claims about fluoride; they simply advised less fluoride during pregnancy. Since many other studies contradict this one, and there is about 70 years’ worth of data showing that fluoride is beneficial, the general consensus is that this study is probably not accurate.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in fact, American IQ has actually gone up since we started adding fluoride to water

So what’s the takeaway? You should always take reports like this with a grain of salt. If you’ve really got concerns about the effects of fluoride, talk to your dentist to learn reliable information.

At Belmont Dental Group, our team of dentists provides personalized and gentle dental care, backed up by more than 25 years of experience. We believe in open, honest communication, and encourage our patients to ask questions and learn all they can about different treatment options and make informed decisions. Our practice covers all phases of dentistry from teeth cleaning to cosmetic dentistry to emergency care, and we’re committed to helping patients become partners in their own dental health. We always have your best interests in mind and will use our training and technology to benefit you and your family. If you’re looking for quality dental services and personalized care in an atmosphere of trust, call (617) 484-2431 or contact us through our website to learn more.