Excess Fluoride May Harm Babies' Teeth
Although fluoride in water has been proven to prevent cavities, the resultsof a new study suggest that infants who consumed large amounts of fluoride-containing beverages may be at risk for dental fluorosis—discolorationof the primary teeth. Specifically, infants who drank the most water-basedbeverages (especially infant formulas made with water) were more likely todevelop the condition.
The study's purpose was to determine whether infants' drinking patternsinfluenced their risk of fluorosis, with a focus on infant formulas. Theresearchers followed 677 children from 6 weeks of age until they had a dentalcheckup when they were at least 4 years old. Their parents periodicallyfilled out detailed questionnaires about the children's diets. The studyresults, reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (April2004), showed that children who developed the condition consumed morewater-constituted formula during infancy, compared with children who didnot develop fluorosis.