Water fluoridation is a controversial issue, even moreso than chlorination. That’s because the body of evidence suggesting fluoridation is harmful is somewhat smaller. That said, there is still evidence pointing to the fact that fluoride is not good for us and it’s something that the media and lawmakers should be looking at instead of ignoring.
There are several different sides of the fluoridation debate. It’s not as simple as fluoride is good or bad. There are many who believe that in small enough amounts, fluoride promotes dental health without any negative consequences. For example, if you have a look at this article, you will see that the presence of fluoride in our saliva attracts tooth-important minerals like calcium to the tooth and it encourages the remineralization of our teeth. According to the article, fluoride also works to make a tooth “harder” and more decay resistant while also inhibiting bacterial growth.
All of this sounds great, so where is the controversy? If a person gets too much fluoride on their teeth, a process called dental fluorosis occurs. Fluorosis causes spots and stains and in severe cases, it will cause pitting and black marks on the teeth. Young children are especially vulnerable as their teeth are still developing.
The WHO has set their guidelines at 1.5 mg of fluoride per liter of water. In other words, higher than 1.5 mg of water in a liter of water is potentially hazardous to your health. The fact that fluoride is harmful in higher quantities makes us ask the question whether it is really worth it all to put it in our water. Many studies show mixed results for fluoride’s effect on our health. Some of them link fluoride with cancer and others demonstrate that fluoride is actually harmful to teeth rather than beneficial.
Many studies have been created with agendas behind them and it’s hard to sort out the “good” evidence from the “bad.” But let’s look at this issue another way. Fluoride is supposedly put in our water to make our teeth healthier. There is no other stated reason. We don’t need fluoride to keep our teeth healthy. In fact, most people in most parts of the world have healthy teeth without using fluoride. You can even use non-fluoridated toothpaste to keep your teeth healthy! If you are really concerned about fluoride affecting your health, understand that if you remove fluoride from your water, your teeth are not going to suddenly start falling out!
In our opinion, the level of fluoride in the U.S. supply of drinking water is not harmful. That is our conclusion based on the evidence we’ve come across. There are other chemicals, byproducts, metals, and contaminants that we are concerned about, like chlorine.
What do you think? Are you concerned about fluoride in your drinking water? What resources have you consulted and for what reasons have you arrived at your conclusion?
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