There are a lot of myths and truths about fluoride that circulate in the media. On any given page, you’ll get varying information about whether fluoride is a health hazard or benefit. While there appears to be no definitive evidence on either side, the American Dental Association has made it patently clear where it stands. The ADA and most practicing dental professionals believe that fluoride is not only safe, but a beneficial mineral that can help teeth to be stronger. Having said that, here are some opinions and facts about fluoride to be aware of.
Where the CDC Stands
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection considers the addition of fluoride to water one of the top 10 greatest health achievements of the 20th century. That’s high praise, for a water additive that is supposed to fight cavities.
On the flip side, the controversy around water fluoridation involves the ethical right of the government to deliver what it considers as a medical additive in the water supply. Is the individual’s right to choose being taken away? It is when the fluoride is being added to town water.
No Dosage Guidelines
Another argument against water fluoridation is that the dosage is not measured or monitored. No one – not the CDC or the ADA is telling people how much fluoride they are supposed to “drink” or get past the teeth in order for the fluoride to be effective. In fact, it’s the only “medicine” of its kind not to be regulated in any meaningful way by the organizations that suggest its use. So, one person could be getting only trace amounts of fluoride, while another may be getting massive doses. Who knows? No one.
Trace Amounts in Nature
Colgate, one of the biggest names in oral health care, claims that fluoride has all kinds of benefits for teeth. Colgate states that fluoride occurs naturally in all water sources. Of course, that’s not strictly correct. In fact, fluoride ions occur only in trace amounts in water. The fluoride that gets put into town water is 90% of the time, hydrofluoric acid, which is “chemical byproduct of aluminum, steel, cement, phosphate, and nuclear weapons manufacturing.”
Fluoride and Cavity Protection
The ADA states that fluoride helps prevent cavities and teeth decay in people of all ages by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorus that people lose as time goes on. There are arguments against that as well. For over 70 years, fluoride has been added to water, yet people still get plenty of cavities, even in the United States, where fluoride is added to the majority of town water supplies.
It must also be stated that the United States is known around the world for having good teeth. Whether that’s due to the excellent dental care and insurance that’s available in this country, or to the addition of fluoride to the drinking water, no one can say for sure.
For more information about fluoride and your oral health, please contact us today.