Dental Tips Blog


Could In-Utero Fluoride Exposure Affect Cognitive Development?

A study by Environmental Health Perspectives (EPH) released in September 2017 suggested a link between high fluoride levels during pregnancy and subsequent low IQ scores in the babies born.

299 mother-child pairs in Mexico were followed for 12 years following the birth of the babies. The children were tested twice for intelligence according to standardized measurements. Samples of the mothers’ urine were analyzed for fluoride content.

There was a pattern indicating that kids’ IQ scores dipped lower in proportion with their moms’ increased levels of fluoride. Above 0.8 milligrams per liter, every 0.5 milligram increase was mirrored by a drop in the intelligence score.

Before you throw out your fluoride toothpaste in a panic, consider these facts:

  • Mexican mothers tested were exposed to fluoride via supplemented salt and dental products, not fluoridated water. They averaged levels of 0.9 mg/L in their urine.
  • The US Department of Health and Human Services has regulated water fluoridation to no more than 0.7 mg/L.
  • Developing babies are extremely sensitive to many minerals in large amounts, including iron and folate
  • There is no evidence fluoride affects children the way it may affect babies still developing in the womb
  • Many other naturally-occurring elements in “healthy” sources can prove toxic in high amounts, such as thiocyanate in kale
  • Even the researchers involved in this study admit that more and larger studies are necessary to prove the connection

If you use fluoride products according to the age-appropriate recommendations your dentist gives, then your family will be safe. As far as pregnancy goes, it’s best to contact your doctor or obstetrician for more information on safe fluoride use until more data becomes available.

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

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