Ban the bottle
The poor state of Northland children’s teeth was featured in TV1 News on Sunday, along with the proposed solution: fluoridation. However, what most viewers would probably not notice was that the shot of a three-year-old’s mouth showed the top teeth were rotten, but the bottom teeth were not.
Professor Connett, an expert on fluoridation who was on a speaking tour of New Zealand last month, pointed out that it was the top teeth of small children that were so horribly damaged and needed extraction. The reason: they’d been damaged by long-time sucking on baby bottles containing sugary liquids such as juice (or even Coca-Cola). But the lower teeth had been protected by the tongue and were reasonably all right.
Lack of fluoride had nothing to do with the problem of rotten teeth in small children.
According to the Ministry of Health, 41 per cent of New Zealand children have dental fluorosis, which is the first sign of fluoride poisoning. What should be of great concern is that fluoride lowers IQ levels. Research shows that intelligence quotients (IQs) went down around seven points when children drank fluoridated water for a length of time. A dose of only 1.4mg per day was shown to lower IQ by five points.
What this means is very important. The number of very bright children, with an IQ of 130 or more, will be reduced by half. At the other end of the scale, the number of mentally compromised children with an IQ of 70 or less will be doubled. Not too good for the future of New Zealand.
A new fact that has emerged recently is the impact of fluoride on the thyroid gland. A study published in the journal Nature showed thyroid complications in pregnant women. New Zealand has a very high rate of hypo-thyroidism.
Fluoridation is a reckless medical process, asserted Professor Connett. Fluoride works topically on teeth, so why drink it? Most countries don’t fluoridate now, including 97 per cent of Europe. It’s time for New Zealand to move beyond fluoridation.
Scotland has done that, with a Childsmile programme offering young children free tooth brushes and toothpaste, while parents are given dietary advice. In 20 years, Scotland’s rate of dental fillings for children aged five has been cut by more than half, while here the rate of dental fillings for five-year-old children has increased.
TV1 also showed one Northland school that’s made a good start by supplying children with toothbrushes and supervising children brushing their teeth after lunch. Well done!
Scotland’s scheme has saved almost five-million pounds a year in treatment costs, as fewer extractions, fillings and general anaesthetics were needed. Why does New Zealand persist with outdated fluoridation? It’s not fluoride that’s needed to cut tooth decay, it’s more brushing of teeth, more fruit and vegetables and less sugar.
Fluoride-Free NZ has produced an excellent magazine with plenty of wellillustrated facts. One illustration showed two bottles of fluoridated water. The first was ‘pharmacy grade,’ and carried a warning that pregnant women and children under three should not drink it. The other bottle contained water with up to 1ppm of fluoride. (That is, a bottle of tap water from a fluoridated area of New Zealand.)
Unlike the pure sodium fluoride in the restricted pharmacy-grade water, the fluoride in the second bottle was an industrial by-product — hydro-fluorosilicic acid. Yet there was no warning about individual dosage at all on the second bottle.
Professor Connett said governments of countries still using fluoridation in spite of all the information now available have lost their integrity. I hope and pray New Zealand DHBs find their integrity on this matter very soon.