Fluoride has become something of a controversial topic lately, even though it has been in water and toothpastes for decades now. Many people have questions about fluoride, such as how much fluoride is in water and if it is really safe or not. In this article, we will answer these questions and explain a little bit more about fluoride and its uses.
How much fluoride is in water?
How much fluoride is in your water is determined by federal departments. The Department of Health and Human Services, otherwise known as DHHS, has been regulating the amount of fluoride in water since the year 1962. That year, they began to suggest that in public tap water, there should be around .7 and 1.2 milligrams of fluoride in every liter of water.
Recently, it seems that the Department of Health and Human Services has changed its tune. Instead of a maximum of 1.2 milligrams per liter, they have now said that only .7 milligrams per liter should be put into public tap water.
How much fluoride is safe in water?
There is a certain concentration of fluoride that is good for your teeth and body. Like most minerals, though, there is a limit to the amount that you should be ingesting. In public drinking water, the amount of fluoride that is put into water is around .7 parts per million. This translates into 1 milligram of fluoride for every liter, or just below that amount as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Fluoride can also occur naturally in surface water. When fluoride is present in natural water, the levels are typically low and won’t go over .3 parts per million.
Does fluoride really prevent cavities?
There have been studies that show 60 percent reduction of cavities in communities that have fluoride in the water. There are a number of preventable oral diseases that can be stopped with fluoride as well. Children who come from minority and low income backgrounds often have the most compromised dental health because of the lack of fluoride in the water.
Over 55 percent of children in California have tooth decay that is untreated, and 27 percent of preschool children in California have it as well. There are a number of cases like this where those who do not have fluoride in the water suffer unnecessarily.
How does fluoride work?
Topical fluorides help to strengthen your teeth by getting into the surface of the teeth and making them more resistant to decay. By drinking water with fluoride in it, it could have both a systemic and a topical effect. Systemic fluoride offers topical protection due to the ingested fluoride that is present in your saliva.
Fluoride is put into toothpaste to soak into the surface and stop decay. It reduces dental plaque and helps encourage remineralization. It also helps to reduce the ability of tooth enamel to dissolve in the acid that your mouth can make. Adults can benefit from fluoride, especially those whose gums are receding. Alongside reducing tooth decay, it stops infection, pain and tooth loss.
How do I know this water is safe?
There has been well over 50 years of research that says that fluoridization of water is safe. It has been tested that having only certain amounts of fluoride in water is what makes or breaks the safety; there have been government shifts in recommendations for how much fluoride goes into your water to ensure that it is always at the safest levels.
Health professionals along with leading scientists have done research with professional organizations and government bodies around the world. The resulting opinion is unanimous–fluoride is safe for consumption when consumed in the correct amounts.
Why are people afraid of fluoride in water?
Some people have concerns over drinking water containing fluoride and those concerns have been addressed. People have concerns that are based on the results of experimental data that uses large amounts of fluoride that have been shown to be unsafe.
It also stems from accounts of pollution in the environment from steel industries as well as uranium and zinc production. This has people afraid of the mineral. It is also likely that there have been attempts to “cover up” industrial exposure to fluoride dating back to the 1950s and 1960s. But, there is no such thing as a coverup for water fluoridization.
Are there any adverse effects to fluoride in water?
There is no scientific literature that says that there are adverse effects to the immune system, metabolism, collagen production or others. It is also shown that it does not affect Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, cancer, AIDS or hypothyroidism like some claims might suggest. There are people who are opposed to fluoride and cite articles that are not legitimate because:
- They don’t come from peer reviewed, reputable journals and cannot be obtained through a medical library
- They look at exposure levels in greater amounts than the maximum of 1 ppm
- They don’t deal with the compounds of fluoride actually in drinking water
Are there any alternatives to fluoride in water?
There is no alternative that is as easy, equitable, inexpensive or effective as water fluoridation.
Fluoride tablets can be used and are inexpensive. It can be difficult for families to get the right dose every day. Fluoride toothpastes are common in many households and can do the trick, but it cannot get into the body system since it is spit out.
Furthermore, fluoride mouth rinse has to be prescribed by a doctor, which makes it difficult to obtain. Topically applied fluoride has to be applied by a dental professional or a medical professional. Drinking water with fluoride is simply better in all regards.
In this article, we have covered information regarding fluoride, its presence in water and its consumption. Do you still have questions about fluoride? What are your thoughts on the subject after reading this article? Let us know in the comments section below.