Tag Archives: fluoride

Covering a controversial study: How to dig deep on a deadline

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

From the moment I saw the study — and editorial and editor’s note — among JAMA’s embargoed studies, I knew it would be a doozy. Certain topics arouse controversy simply by their existence, and water fluoridation is very high on that list.

So when I was assigned to write about the JAMA Pediatrics study (Reminder: AHCJ members get free access to the JAMA Network.)  finding a link between prenatal fluoride exposure and reduced IQ in preschoolers, two things went through my mind: One, this is going to be covered horribly by some outlets and likely create unnecessary anxiety among parents, especially pregnant women (who have enough to worry about when it comes to do’s and don’ts). Two, I need to be one of those who gets it right. Continue reading

Fluoridation findings prompt measured response from professional organizations

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo by mahalie stackpole via Flickr

As the editors of the prestigious medical journal anticipated, the newly published Canadian study is causing a stir.

The paper, which appears in JAMA Pediatrics links higher fluoride consumption by pregnant women with lower intelligence scores in their offspring. The findings represent the latest foray by researchers into fluoride safety, an emotionally fraught topic in both the U.S. and Canada.

The authors of the paper studied fluoride exposure for 512 mother-child pairs, about 40% of whom lived in fluoridated communities across six Canadian cities. They calculated fluoride levels in local water supplies and fluoride concentrations in the pregnant women’s’ urine.

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CDC study suggests many kids using excess toothpaste

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Josh Mazgelis via Flickr

The good news is that nearly 80 percent of American kids are brushing their teeth by the age of 1, according to federal data.

The bad news is that nearly 40 percent of them may be using too much toothpaste, new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests.  Continue reading

United effort helps two rural Oklahoma communities reduce childhood caries

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Carol Von Canon via Flickr

America’s tribal communities have long suffered from an abundance of oral disease problems and a shortage of dentists.

Research has shown that Native American and Alaska Native preschoolers experience tooth decay at more than four times the rate of white children. Continue reading

Parents face critical trade-off in deciding between tap, bottled water

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Worries about the safety of the nation’s tap water were already a reality before the 2014 lead-contamination crisis in Flint, Mich.

Exposure to lead poses serious health risks to children. And while research shows blood lead levels have decreased substantially over the past 40 years in response to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and Lead and Copper Rule, concerns about corrosion from aging lead service lines and lead pipes in older homes have fueled questions about water quality in communities nationwide. Continue reading

Fluoride mouth rinsing by children receives renewed attention

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Protoflux via Flickr

Photo: Protoflux via Flickr

A time-honored preventive dental treatment is getting another look.

A cheap and simple fluoride mouth rinse is highly effective in reducing tooth decay in school children, a recent Cochrane review has concluded.

The paper updates a 2003 review that also showed clear evidence of the decay-inhibiting effect of fluoride rinses. Continue reading