A friend with a five month old baby asked me what type of water you should mix in formula and so I tried to find the best choice for mothers who are formula feeding.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that the health benefits of fluoridated water are based on outdated research. Adding fluoride to the water began in 1940’s when research suggested that fluoridated water might help reduce tooth decay. The new research suggests that the benefits for tooth development have been exaggerated and that fluoride consumption can also adversely affect bone development leading to weakened bones and in some young boys is correlated with increased risk of a rare type of bone cancer.1
While this research hasn’t reached a mainstream audience, the sources of the new research are from credible scientific institutions. Scientific American published an article in January 2008 titled “Second Thoughts about Fluoride” and a controversy at Harvard developed when a PhD student “found a “robust” five to seven fold increase in a rates of a rare form of bone cancer in young boys exposed to fluoridated water.”2
Health experts do all agree that fluoridated water should not be added to baby formula. The American Dental Association recognizing the need to minimize the risks for infants says:
“If liquid concentrate or powdered infant formula is the primary
source of nutrition, it can be mixed with water that is fluoride free
or contains low levels of fluoride to reduce the risk of fluorosis.
Examples are water that is labeled purified, demineralized, deionized,
distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water.”3
WHAT TO FEED YOUR KIDS:
Infant formula should be mixed with water that is free of all chemicals and drugs. PLEASE don’t go out of your way to get fluoride in infants under one. If your pediatrician recommends fluoride supplementation, please print out the statement from the ADA and bring it to them.
Fluoride is a chemical and should not be swallowed in toothpaste form by anyone and we don’t need any more research to confirm this. Any child who might swallow toothpaste should use a fluoride free brand like Tom’s of Maine or vanilla ice cream flavored Baby Bling (which we use) to prevent fluorinosis.