Fluoride in Water Supplies – Benefits vs. Risks
Cavities risks can be minimized through the preventive effects of water fluoridation in drinking supplies. This is achieved by exposure to optimal fluoride levels before baby and adult teeth erupt. This public health strategy is supported by all professional dental journals, societies, research centers and educational institutions.
Currently, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency recommends the following water fluoridation levels be:
- at an optimal level of 0.7 ppm;
- no more than 2 ppm to prevent severe enamel fluorosis;
- no more than 4 ppm to limit skeletal fluorosis.
Health risks reported in the media have proven to be unfounded, due to their study limitations, including design flaws, testing and sampling errors.
The vast majority of dental professionals contend the benefit of fluoride in public water systems in caries reduction out weighs any potential adverse effects like mild enamel fluorosis (a slight esthetic discolored mottling of the enamel). In addition, mild fluorosis is non-functional and does not detract from enamel strength or structure. In fact, those who present with mild fluorosis are more caries resistant than the general population.
Community water fluoridation is one of the most cost effective and equitable ways to prevent tooth decay. The CDC named fluoridation as one of the top 10 most significant public health measures of the 20th century.
Consumers need to be aware of the misinformation about water fluoridation that has surfaced on the internet. By focusing on evidence based research, public concerns can be minimized and patients can be appropriately educated.
For any concerns about fluoride, please feel free to ask us.
We are here to educate you and to help you achieve optimal dental and oral health.
The choice is yours.
Source: Dimensions of Dental Hygiene 10/19 V.17, No.9. Relich & Sutton