Fluoride, one of the most celebrated ingredients for the prevention of dental caries in the 20th century, has also been controversial for its use in dentifrices and other applications. In the current review, we have concentrated primarily on early-life exposure to fluoride and how it may affect the various organs. The most recent controversial aspects of fluoride are related to toxicity of the developing brain and how it may possibly result in the decrease of intelligence quotient (IQ), autism, and calcification of the pineal gland. In addition, it has been reported to have possible effects on bone and thyroid glands. If nutritional stress is applied during a critical period of growth and development, the organ(s) and/or body will never recover once they pass through the critical period. For example, if animals are force-fed during experiments, they will simply get fat but never reach the normal size. Although early-life fluoride exposure causing fluorosis is well reported in the literature, the dental profession considers it primarily as an esthetic rather than a serious systemic problem. In the current review, we wanted to raise the possibility of future disease as a result of early-life exposure to fluoride. It is not currently known how fluoride will become a cause of future disease. Studies of other nutritional factors have shown that the effects of early nutritional stress are a cause of disease in later life.
Keywords: Autistic Disorder; Caries; Fluoride; Growth and Development; Mental Retardation; Thyroid Gland.