Water fluoridation is the artificial process of adding more fluoride to the water supply to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
Water fluoridation has been championed as beneficial for oral health. However, many people believe that the extra fluoride in the water is bad for overall health and leads to a variety of different diseases.
The movement to add fluoride to water began in 1945 by the United States and Canada. Today, more than 25 countries provide fluoridated water supplies.
What Do Different Experts Think?
1- Water fluoridation is good for overall health:
Many experts believe that fluoridated water is good for people’s health. The Center for Diseases Control (CDC) calls it “one of the greatest public health advancements of the 20th century.”
Fluoride helps protect your teeth by killing the bacteria that form inside your mouth after you eat starchy or sugary foods. The bacteria in your mouth also produce acids that wear down your tooth enamel making it more vulnerable to decay.
Fluoride counteracts the effect of these acids that destroy the calcium and phosphate components of tooth enamel and restores them to prevent the demineralization of teeth. In addition to protecting the enamel, it also strengthens it.
Food safety and public health organizations have published reports about community water fluoridation, considering it to be a safe and cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay and dental caries, and a good service that benefits the general public.
2- Water fluoridation is bad for overall health:
Many health experts question the process of water fluoridation, deeming it unnecessary now that people are exposed to fluoride through other means like food and toothpaste.
They also believe that fluoride exposure is detrimental to human health. Overexposure to fluoride can cause fluorosis or white stains on the teeth. It also causes fluoride toxicity and may accelerate tooth decay and cavities.
Experts fear that excessive fluoride exposure can lead to a variety of different diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and infertility. Water fluoridation negatively affects children and adolescents because their kidneys don’t excrete as much fluoride as adult kidneys do.
The 2019 study, “Fluoride exposure and kidney and liver function among adolescents in the United States,” shows that fluoride exposure in tap water, although relatively low, can negatively affect liver and kidney function in adolescents. The “potential health side effects include renal system damage, liver damage, thyroid dysfunction, bone and tooth disease, and impaired protein metabolism.”
Some experts believe that fluoride exposure may has adverse effects on human health, especially on the health of adolescents and children. Thus, they call for the re-evaluation of current water fluoridation practices.
What do you think?
Share your thoughts on this topic in the forum below.
Vote “YES” if you think fluoridated water is good for your health or “No” if you think it is bad.