For several years, people have argued over whether or not fluoridation of public water sources is safe and has the best interests of the public in mind. Water fluoridation is the addition of chemical fluoride to community water supplies for the sake of reducing the occurrence of cavities in the population. Fluoridation officially became a policy of the U.S. Public Health Service in 1951, and these days, about two-thirds of the US population has fluoridated public water.
Controversy Surrounding Water Fluoridation.
Opposition to the policy has existed since before it was even established. Some opponents during the 1950s and 1960s suggested that fluoridation was a communist plot to undermine public health. It still remains a pervasive health and political issue around the world, resulting in changes in policy regarding fluoridation of public water supplies.
Is Fluoride Safe?
It has been proven that too much fluoride can be dangerous. A 2006 study showed that the upper limit for fluoride, at 4 ppm, was too high and led to children developing severe dental fluorosis. In 2015, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued a recommendation to municipalities to keep the level of fluoride in drinking water limited to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water.
After decades of research, the evidence is conclusive that optimally fluoridated water does help protect teeth without posing risks to the health of adults or children. Since the policy has been in effect, widespread occurrences of tooth decay have been reduced. This is especially important to children who are more prone to cavities.
Fluoridation of Water in Arizona
Here’s a list of communities in our state that have an implemented a water fluoridation program:
- El Mirage
The proper amount of fluoride, from public water supplies as well as oral health products helps protect your teeth from decay. If you have concerns about how the use of fluoride affects your child’s teeth, talk to your child’s dentist.