Fluoride is bad for your teeth. It's something you probably already know, but now the august American Dental Association is agreeing with you.
In a recent position paper, it warns mothers against preparing baby foods with fluoridated water as it may be bad for the development of babies' teeth.
Fluoride can cause fluorosis, a disease that damages the tooth's enamel, the ADA has announced. Nonetheless, fluoride does protect against decay, it reminds everyone, a statement that might surprise most health authorities around Europe who have now abandoned plans to fluoridate their water supply.
Ireland is one of the few countries in Europe that continues to routinely fluoridate its water, and yet tooth decay continues to rise. A recent study has revealed that three out of four Irish children have tooth decay by the time they are 15 years old, while 40 per cent have fluorosis. Health experts blame the problem on the large number of sugary sweets and drinks that Irish children consume. Without the fluoride in the water supply, the situation would be even worse, they say.
Which all sounds a bit, well, Irish (sorry).
(Sources: American Dental Association position paper 'Interim Guidance on Fluoride Intake for Infants and Young Children', and Irishhealth.com).