In recent years, fluoride has become a controversial topic. There are some people who claim that fluoride is detrimental to health, while others espouse the benefits of having this chemical in our water. So, should you have concerns about fluoride in your water?
The Fluoride Basics
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in soil, rocks, plants and even our bones and teeth. Fluoride is thought to strengthen teeth enamel to help prevent cavities and this is the primary reason why it has been added to public water system supplies in America since 1945.
In fact, according to the CDC, adding fluoride to drinking water can reduce the risks of tooth decay by as much as 25% in children and adults.
The Benefits of Adding Fluoride to Water Supplies
While the primary benefit of adding fluoride to water supplies is strengthening tooth enamel, it goes much further than this.
- The Perks of Strong Tooth Enamel: While no one enjoys getting a cavity filled, there are actually further benefits of having strong tooth enamel. The tooth enamel protects the inner layers of the teeth from bacteria, plaque and acids, which could lead to more severe issues. The inner tooth layers can actually create a direct path to the skeletal structures of the skull and jaw, nervous system and circulatory system. So, if you have strong tooth enamel, you are actually providing additional protection for these areas of your body.
- Cost Effectiveness: According to the American Dental Association, the lifetime cost per average person to fluoridate water supplies works out to less than the cost of just one dental filling. So, for every $1 cities spend on adding fluoride to water supplies, it saves an average of $38 in dental treatment costs.
So, Why The Concerns?
If fluoride in water is so great, then why do some people have concerns? The main concerns stem from the effects of too much fluoride. If your intake of fluoride is high, it can lead to a number of issues including:
- Dental Fluorosis: This condition alters the appearance of teeth, most commonly causing white or brown spots on the teeth. This condition is more common in children who ingest fluoride in large quantities as the childhood teeth are still forming.
- Skeletal Fluorosis: This bone disease only occurs in cases where there is prolonged, excessive fluoride exposure. This condition is more common in countries such as China or India, where there are naturally high levels of fluoride in the soil and groundwater. Generally speaking, levels in the US are well below these potentially hazardous levels.
Removing Fluoride From Your Drinking Water
If you’re still not convinced about the benefits of drinking fluoridated water and feel more comfortable not drinking water treated with fluoride, there are some treatment options available.
You can check the CDC website to see whether your city has fluoridated water supplies and the typical levels. You can then determine if you would like to remove it from your water.
The most effective treatment method is reverse osmosis, which can remove up to 92% of fluoride from water supplies. So, speak to your local water treatment specialist for advice and guidance.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.