What do iron, vitamin D, and fluoride have in common?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics thinks they’re all nutrients and worries that your breastfed baby might not be getting enough of them.
Yes, in a recent article for moms, fluoride is described as one of “three nutrients” they believe breastfed babies may need supplements of. If they don’t get that precious fluoride, how will they ever “develop strong teeth?”
Breast milk contains little fluoride – even if the mom’s drinking water is fluoridated.
Trouble is, fluoride is not a nutrient.
Fluoride is not found naturally anywhere in the body. There are no recommended daily requirements for fluoride or any disease caused by fluoride deficiency. Since fluoride does not occur naturally in the body, it acts as a toxin when introduced to the human body. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) calls fluoride a mutagen, which causes genetic damage and can contribute to the development of cancer.
Fluoride’s toxic effects are cumulative, which means the more that is ingested, the greater the damage.
Suffice it to say, fluoride is not necessary for healthy dental growth. In fact, as Weston Price documented many decades ago, folks in indigenous societies did just fine without it – or any of the stuff of modern dentistry, for that matter. Fluoride had nothing to do with their wide arches and straight, strong teeth.
Rather, it was eating a nutrient-dense diet free of the refined sugar, white flour, and other “advances” of Western culture.
What helps kids develop strong, healthy teeth nutritionally is three-fold:
Breastfeeding through at least the first year of life. Not only is breast milk nature’s perfect food for infants; the action of suckling encourages proper use of the oral and facial muscles, as well as the development of a wide palate and full, u-shaped arches, leaving plenty of room for the teeth to come in when they’re ready.
A wholesome, varied diet once they shift to solid foods. Variety in the diet helps ensure we get the full complement of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients we need for good oral and systemic health alike. Calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins D and K are especially important for developing strong, healthy teeth, along with trace minerals that the body uses to keep remineralizing the teeth naturally.
For specifics on diet and nutrition for kids, we encourage you to check out the wealth of resources available through the Weston A. Price Foundation.
A diet with some bite in it. The modern Western diet, overloaded with hyper-processed foods, tends to be a soft diet. Chewing helps stimulate dental development.
Considering the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ reputation for conflicts of interest – such as their reliance on money from purveyors of fast food, junk food, sodas, and such – I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised that the tout the party line on fluoride.
But no matter how many times you call fluoride a nutrient, it will never actually be one. It’s something the human body just has no physiological need for – and especially not the developing bodies of babies.