Archived Q&A and Reviews

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Dentist that's NOT hot on fluoride??

May 2007

Hi. Does anyone know of a dentist that focuses more on proper nutrution versus fluoride to prevent tooth decay? anon

I don't know if you want a pediatric dentist or general dentist, but our pediatric dentist -- Dr. Ed Matsuishi, on Stockton in El Cerrito -- is very committed to dental health through diet. I don't know if he is anti-flouride, but he is knowledgeable about the inter-relation between diet and dental health (more so than just ''no sweets'')and promotes it for all his patients. Christine

Just say you don't want it. My daughter gags and barfs at flouride treatments, we tell the dentist and he doesn't do it. No big deal. You can probably google about proper nutrition for healthy teeth. -- flossing's good

Flouride Treatment Risks?

April 2006

I just reviewed the archives looking for dialogue on the risks of flouride supplementation. Surprisingly, I did not see any. My four yr old's dentist is pretty pro-flouride, but the information that I have read indicates that flouride is extremely toxic to the body and that it, essentially, is a waste by-product foisted upon unsuspecting people in the form of flouride supplementation to our water supplies or as flouride supplements to children. Further, what I've read indicates that flouride isn't actually all that effective in preventing caries. Any body want out there have information for me, one way or another? I'm searching for information that I can use to decide how to proceed with dental work. Also, does anyone have a recommendation for a pediatric dentist who is NOT pro-flouride? I'm willing to consider treatment outside of Marin County. Thanks! Christine

If you're open to pro-fluoride information, you might want to check out http://www.quackwatch.org/03HealthPromotion/fluoride.html and http://www.fluoridationcenter.org/

The latter includes statements from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control; the former explains some of the problems with the organizations who claim fluoridation of water is bad for you... Karen

Wow...where are you getting your information? There may be no dialog on this issue in the archives because fluoridation of the water supply is one of the most important and most effective public health measures of the last century (some have listed it in the top 10 along with small pox eradication).

There is very strong evidence in support of fluoridation for the prevention of caries that goes back to the 50s. A very recent study that found a positive association with cancer (bone cancer?) was a single report. But if you like anecdotal evidence, a friend of mine drank bottled water (no fluoride) during pregnancy and her daughter has had several cavities as a preschooler. Dental health is of lifelong interest. I have had several crowns now that my old very large fillings have given way and little tooth was left. Anon

Flouride treatments for nursing 3 yo?

March 2004

My 3 year old is still nursing at night. Her dentist has recommended that she have monthly flouride treatments, eventhough she has not developed any cavities. I feel this is abit excessive. Does anyone out there have any experience/opinions about this. Thanks Linda

Both of my kids nursed at night for years, and both did get some cavities. They had fluoride treatments, but not monthly, just twice a year. Their teeth improved, and of course, as they got older they cooperated much better with brushing and flossing. We went to Dr. Denise Bass Allen on Broadway in Oakland. She is a pediatric dentist, and nursed her own child. She was very helpful, and practical, and never judgemental, and will recommend treatment based on how your child is doing. I strongly urge you to see her for another opinion. Trudi

Monthly flouride treatments for a 3 YO without any cavity activity seems excessive to me. But I tend to err on the side of less chemical treatment. My daughter's dentist suggested flouride treatments at about the same age, but it was going to be once every six months. Because my daughter had no cavities, I said I'd rather not. My daughter is 9 now and still has no cavities. Although she's never had a dental flouride treatment, I suspect the flouride they put in the water now has had an effect (although we drink a lot of filtered water - I don't know if flouride is filtered out). She seemed to do fine without the dental flouride treatment, though. Cathy

My kids were both breastfed for one year, but have been on vitamin drops with fluoride since they were babies (they're now 2 & 4). The reason for this is that my husband (who's an MD) was given fluoride drops as a kid in New Jersey, and insists it's the reason he's never had a cavity in his life. As a person who's had cavities all her life, I readily agreed when he wanted to give our kids the drops. I did worry that they would get fluoritis, which I read about as causing discoloration of the teeth, but so far, no cavities and no discoloration. I highly recommend the drops; no monthly trips to the dentist; you just need a prescription. A Berkeley Mom

Fluoride supplements for bottled water?

August 1998

Our family drinks bottled water, and we are thinking of giving our son fluoride supplements. Before we go ahead and do it, I was wondering if there is any heated debate about this subject, or if it's a fairly straightforward thing to do. Heather

I just asked my pediatrician about this, and he recommended getting bottled water that has fluoride in it already. Fluoride seems to be most effective if the teeth get exposed to it directly all the time (e.g., with every drink and some foods that your son takes). Also, you avoid any struggle about your son having to take some kind of pill daily. Angela

Most bottled water companies have water with and without floride. We use Alhambra-- you just need to specify. chaudhry