Is Fluoride Really Safe In Drinking Water?

Since the 1940s, fluoride has been added to community water supplies in cities throughout America. This has been done to help reduce tooth decay and increase oral health. Recently, however, many people have begun to question if our water is safe to be fluoridated since fluoride is not an essential nutrient for human health. While there are benefits to drinking fluoridated water, the disadvantages may outweigh those benefits.

Is It Necessary?

Fluoride truly is beneficial in decreasing cavities, but there is no need to ingest it so it goes into our bloodstream. Drinking fluoride can potentially put a person at risk of adverse health effects, so it may not be worth the risk. Most toothpaste and other dental products already contain the element and water typically has some fluoride in it before more is added so there may be no need to add more to our water. Many countries that do not fluoridate their water, such as Canada, Switzerland, Japan, and several others, have also noticed an increase in oral health in the last few years without the extra fluoride. One issue many people have with the whole thing is they believe it should be their choice to put fluoride in their own water or not. They believe it should be up to them if they want it and, if they do, how much because it is not an essential nutrient.

Potential Health Risks

Dentist fixing teeth

There are several health risks that come with fluoride exposure. One issue is Dental Fluorosis. This condition causes the enamel to become permanently damaged and teeth to become permanently discolored with white or brown marks. It can also cause teeth to become brittle and easily stained or broken. Extensive fluoride exposure can also cause bone weakness, acne or other dermatological problems, cardiac problems, diabetes, insomnia, bone cancer, harm to the brain in fetuses, lower IQ, thyroid problems, and more.

People Have Different Needs

Some people may be able to handle a large amount of fluoride, but some people have other specific needs and are put in danger by a great amount of fluoride. Small children and babies are at a greater risk than older children and adults. People with different health issues can also be at a higher risk. What may be a perfectly safe amount of fluoride for one person could put another person in great danger. The best way to see how much fluoride is in your water, is to test your water for harmful contaminants.