Water Fluoridation: The Controversy That Still Surrounds The Decades-Old Practice
Is your water supply fluoridated? Since the 40’s, most US water supplies have been fluoridated — a practice started to encourage better dental health. Using fluoride in dental treatments has been proven to be effective in reducing cavities and protecting teeth. While some controversy still exists over widespread water fluoridation, in addition to the use of fluoride in many dental products, the amount of fluoride added to the drinking supply is considered by most to be a benefit rather than a risk.
Is Fluoride Toxic?
Simply put, the sodium fluoride used in drinking water can be toxic, but as with many of the things we put in our bodies, this is only strictly true when ingested in large quantities. There is a dose at which the stuff will be harmful, and some of the concern about fluoride, in particular, comes from its widespread inclusion in drinking water on top of its common use in dental products and treatment.
This is why the inclusion of fluoride in drinking supplies, as well as the use of many fluoride-based dental treatments, are handled only by trained professionals, and why so many studies are done to ensure both its safety and effectiveness.
Does Fluoride Help Diminish Cavities?
For years, anti-fluoride activists have tried to convince people that using fluoride has no effect whatsoever on diminishing or even eliminating cavities. In fact, they say things like, “fluoride compounds in water and supplements do not provide any significant cavity-protecting effects.” However, the US Public Health Service has stated on numerous occasions that fluoride has substantial benefits in the prevention of tooth decay.
In fact, when combined with proper dental treatment, one can practically eliminate tooth decay. Moreover, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fluoridation of water is one of the ten greatest achievements in public health during the 20th century.
Why Should Your Community Have Fluoridated Water?
One of the biggest benefits of fluoridated water is that it promotes health for everyone in the community in a way that reaches even the most disadvantaged. Providing everyone with the opportunity to have good dental care is one of the many responsibilities of a society. Not only does it help the individual with having better overall health and welfare but it also helps society with reducing medical costs as a burden on your local and state tax dollars. The costs of fluoridation are minimal while the costs of easily preventable dental problems burden both the individual and our society.
Water fluoridation is not a replacement for proper dental care from a licensed and professional dentist — you don’t want to put off your appointment with Dr. Johnson. But it does work well to encourage and maintain healthy teeth for as long as it’s used in conjunction with proper hygiene techniques. In fact, with the help of your dentist and fluoridated water, most folks should be able to easily and effectively manage your dental care without needing more drastic procedures, all for a minimal cost to the community.
Lautaro Martinez is a freelance writer and professional student who contributes articles and insights into everything from social and business trends to the latest tech gadgets.
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