One of the hardest things about being a parent is knowing whether you have done everything you could have to give your child the best start in life.
There is plenty of research that backs up the fact that attending 0early learning centers improve the chances of success later in life.
But, it’s harder to tell how much effect nature versus nurture has on other development. For example, intelligence. In recent years there has been an increased interest in fluoride, the compound added to many water sources. It is said to improve teeth and bone strength but, some research suggests it can increase the risk of developing cancer.
There are also questions regarding how it affects intelligence, especially in school-age children.
Research Shows A Decrease In IQ
Research recently conducted has found a link between fluoride consumption and IQ levels in children. The research, suggests that fluoride consumption in pregnant mothers can lower the IQ of the child by as much as 5 points and make it 50% less likely that a child would develop excellent intelligence.
Further research looked at the effect of fluoride consumption on children. The study noted a similar effect although on a smaller scale.
In other words, consuming fluoride when pregnant or as a young child is likely to make your child less intelligent.
Of course, if you’re going to limit fluoride consumption in your young child you need to make sure they have regular access to a good pediatric dentist Sydney. This will help to ensure their teeth develop normally and stay healthy.
How Fluoride Affects Children
Fluoride enters the bloodstream in the same way as any other compound consumed by the body. It then moves with the blood until it reaches the brain. It can then pass through the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain itself. It’s believed it then enters the hippocampus and thyroid areas, effectively reducing the rate of intellectual development in children.
Research suggests the effect on intellectual development is worse when fluoride is taken by pregnant mothers.
Restricting Fluoride Intake
Despite the risks associated with fluoride, it does still offer some benefits, namely the strengthening of bones and teeth. That means balance is essential.
The best way to achieve this is to add a water filtration system to the home, removing fluoride from the water. It’s then easier to control what fluoride your child consumes. For instance, fluoride in toothpaste remains a viable option. Your child should use a pea-sized amount and not swallow the toothpaste.
It’s also worth looking at foods because some are supplemented with fluoride. The best approach is to limit access to these foods. This is the safest and most effective way to protect intelligence in children, especially as they approach school age and are most susceptible to learning.
Naturally, there is some research that suggests the effects of fluoride on intelligence are negligible. However, this is one instance where it is advisable to err on the side of caution.