Fluoridation Permanently Damages Tens of Thousands of Kiwis’ Teeth:
Gold Standard International Cochrane Review Group Confirms


A review of the efficacy of fluoridation published on 18th June 2015 by the internationally renowned Cochrane Review Group has further exposed the failings of Fluoridation. Once again, science tells us that fluoride does not work by swallowing, but instead is causing an epidemic of dental fluorosis, i.e. permanent damage to teeth. Dental fluorosis is the first outward sign of fluoride poisoning.


Far from finding that the “science is settled,” the Cochrane Oral Health Group found there was almost no quality science supporting the claim that fluoridation reduced dental decay in today’s world. A moratorium on fluoridation should be called in New Zealand, and replaced with the hugely successful international modern-day programme, Childsmile.


The Cochrane Review found:

  • An estimate that 40% of people will have dental fluorosis when water is fluoridated at 0.7ppm
  • An estimate that 12% of people will have dental fluorosis that could cause concern over appearance when water is fluoridated at 0.7ppm
  • No evidence that cessation of fluoridation led to an increase in dental decay rates
  • No evidence that fluoridation reduced inequalities between rich and poor
  • No evidence that fluoridation benefited adults
  • 97% of the studies they examined were biased


In fact, the only study on ceasing fluoridation that met their criteria for review, showed dental decay improved after cessation, compared to the control group which continued fluoridation.


One of the most important findings of this Cochrane dental review was confirmation that fluoridation is causing permanent damage to teeth, in the form of dental fluorosis. They estimated that approximately 40% of the population had some form of dental fluorosis with fluoridation at 0.7ppm. Of the entire population, they estimated that 12% had fluorosis that affected appearance, which can affect self-esteem and life outcomes.


“In areas with a fluoride level of 0.7 ppm in the water, approximately 12% of the people evaluated had fluorosis that could cause concern about their appearance.”


This year, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reduced the maximum level of fluoride used in fluoridation to 0.7ppm. The HHS cited the large number of children in the US (40%) that have dental fluorosis, as the reason for their action. This is an admission at the highest US Government level that fluoridation is responsible for the dental fluorosis epidemic and that dental fluorosis is a serious concern that requires significant action.


The New Zealand Ministry of Health advises local councils to add fluoride chemicals in a range from 0.7ppm to 1ppm, but has refused to shoulder any of the liability for the damages this causes. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has said he has no intention of lowering the NZ level to match the new US maximum, even though the Ministry of Health’s own data show 40% of New Zealand children also have dental fluorosis. This permanent damage is very costly to cover with dental veneers.


The Cochrane Review said the majority of fluoridation studies on decay rates, that reached the standard acceptable for inclusion, were published between 40 and 70 years ago. Their findings emphasize that this was before fluoride toothpaste was introduced, and when dental decay rates were up to ten times higher than today. These old studies reported fluoridated areas with an average of 1.81 fewer baby teeth with fillings, and 1.16 fewer in children’s permanent teeth. This amounted to 35% and 26%, respectively. They also found more children without any decay in fluoridated areas.


However, these old studies are virtually meaningless when applied to today’s world of unprecedented low decay rates in industrial countries with statistics that often show opposite results. For five year olds in non-fluoridated New Zealand today, the average is about two fillings. So a saving of 35% is only HALF a filling. The average for Year 8 children is 1.3 fillings in non-fluoridated areas which would amount to an even more miserly saving of only 0.3 of a filling. New Zealand MoH school dental statistics consistently show non fluoridated areas often have fewer fillings than fluoridated areas.


Given that just over half of New Zealand is fluoridated at 0.7ppm or more, the Cochrane research tells us that nearly one million Kiwis (40%) are likely to have some form of dental fluorosis and 270,000 Kiwis (12%), are likely to have fluorosis to such an extent as to affect their appearance due to fluoridation.


How can a claim of a tiny childhood reduction in dental decay, (no evidence that fluoridation reduces decay in adults), based mostly on out-of-date research, be an acceptable trade-off for the proven permanent damage of hundreds of thousands of people’s teeth?


While the Cochrane Review limited itself to matters of dental health only, it is important to be cognizant of the thousands of studies that show fluoride causes harm. Already this year, a study from Kent University was published in the British Medical Journal which found that fluoridated water causes a 60% increase in rates of hypothyroidism in women. There are also now more than 45 published studies that show fluoride reduces IQ.


The Cochrane Review seriously calls into question the NZ Royal Society 2014 Fluoridation report which hastily skimmed the surface, in secret, in a matter of months, to placate some of the Auckland City Councillors who had become concerned that fluoridation is causing harm.


It is obviously time the NZ Ministry of Health came clean on fluoridation and admitted the scientific truth that fluoride does not reduce dental decay by swallowing, but instead permanently damages teeth. The Ministry of Health is doing New Zealanders a huge disservice by refusing to face modern scientific facts. This is a classic case of the Emperor Has No Clothes. Unfortunately, New Zealanders are paying a very high price for preserving this embarrassing failure of public health.


The Cochrane Collaboration is an international, not-for-profit and independent organisation that is dedicated to making up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of healthcare readily available world-wide. They are considered the gold standard in health science.