Eli5, why would you add fluoride to water for babies? & why is it or is it not potentially dangerous for infants under 1?


Hello friends, looking for facts about adding fluoride for babies. Is it it dangerous? And if so why?

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It’s not dangerous because it’s not dangerous, and while it’s not dangerous, one should also note that it’s not dangerous.

The dose makes the poison. There is not enough fluoride in water to be harmful. Additionally, note that babies under 6 months should not be drinking water at all.

Too much fluoride can damage teeth. The amount in most water is very small and it helps tooth enamel resist acids better, including those made by the bacteria in your mouth. Excessive fluoride consumption in adolescence causes fluorosis. Mild forms are just cosmetic, severe forms damage teeth development but normal water with fluoride won’t get there.

Fluoride is added to water to encourage remineralization in the enamel of human teeth. The amount is tiny, so it’s safe even to prepare food/formula or to drink municipal water supplies for even the youngest babies.

It’s also used in some dental products and other products in much higher concentration. These are safe when used as directed, but you should avoid, for example, swallowing the fluoride treatment at the dentist office. The dentist or hygienist will tell you not to swallow it, and will watch to make sure you spit it out, so this should not be a problem.

Dose makes the poison. Our bodies can flush out a small amount of fluoride with no harm, and it reinforces our teeth on top of being antimicrobial.

Similarly a lot of water sources have chlorine added to it as an antimicrobial, which is also a nasty poison in a high enough dose, but its in such a small concentration we don’t even notice.