Fluoride: Cessation has had a negative impact on children's health according to research - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
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A newly published study compared Grade 2 students in both Edmonton and Calgary, and found that fluoride cessation in Calgary has had a negative impact on children’s health.



In primary teeth, known more commonly as baby teeth, there was a worsening in tooth decay in Calgary since the discontinuation of fluoridation in 2011, as compared to Edmonton, where water is still fluoridated. In fact, the number of tooth surfaces with decay per child increased by 3.8 surfaces in Calgary during the time frame of the study, as compared to only 2.1 in Edmonton. This is a statistically significant difference. The average child has about 20 teeth with four or five surfaces per tooth.

“This study points to the conclusion that tooth decay has worsened following removal of fluoride from drinking water, especially in primary teeth, and it will be important to continue monitoring these trends,” says Lindsay McLaren, PhD, from the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and O’Brien Institute for Public Health, the study’s lead author.

Tooth decay is the most common infectious disease in children. The consequences of tooth decay include pain for the child, expense of dental treatments such as extractions and fillings, and the soreness can also influence the performance of a child at school. Dental concerns are also the leading cause of day surgery for young children in Canada, including in Alberta.

“The early effects of fluoridation cessation found in this study support the role of water fluoridation in contributing to improved oral health of children and that it is a public health measure worth maintaining,” says Steven Patterson, dentist, Professor at School of Dentistry, University of Alberta.

McLaren carried out the study with a number of colleagues from the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services.

“I was not at all sure that we would see these effects. It had only been about three years since fluoride was removed, which is on the short side; plus, there are potentially several sources of fluoride in both environments, which would tend to reduce the observed effect of removing fluoride from the drinking water,” says McLaren who is an associate professor in the department of Community Health Sciences.

Researchers used surveillance data from students that was collected in 2004/05 and compared it to data they collected from students in the 2013-2014 school years in both cities. Grade 2 students were picked because they are at an age where researchers could examine both baby teeth and adult teeth in one group. Data was collected from more than 5,000 children in the two cities — the schools were randomly selected from both the public and Catholic school systems. The two cities were compared because Edmonton has had fluoride since 1967 and still does, while Calgary stopped the practice of community water fluoridation in 2011 (which had been in place only since 1991).

Removing fluoride from drinking water is a debate facing many communities in North America and around the world. Fluoride is a tooth-enamel-strengthening mineral that was first introduced into public drinking water in 1945.

There are currently few published studies that look at the effects of fluoridation cessation. Researchers from the paper hope their study can be explored by decision makers who are involved in these discussions.

The results of the study were published in the February issue of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.


  1. Dan Germouse says:

    There is no credible evidence that fluoridated water has ever prevented a single dental cavity. The forced-fluoridation fanatics often try to claim that the low rates of dental caries in western European countries which do not have artificially fluoridated public water supplies are due to naturally occurring fluoride in water, or some other kind of artificial fluoridation such as salt fluoridation. They are lying.

  2. Tangential says:

    Find and read “Fluoride Deception” by a British journalist (or find a YouTube summary).

    What has happened to children’s dental health in Japan since the Fukushima-Daichi nuclear catastrophe erupted in March 2011?

    Could increased levels of atmospheric nuclear contamination be a serious factor behind increased levels of dental decay???

  3. It’s interesting to note that the title of your article clearly implies causation, but the article you cite is a cross sectional study. That is a BIG no-no. Cross sectional studies cannot be used to imply causation. Digging into the study I find that the permanent teeth in the non-fluoridated community had a lower rate of cavities. So should we conclude that fluoride is a risk factor for developing cavities in permanent teeth?

    Of course not – the study can’t lead to that conclusion any more than the one trumpeted in the headline.

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