Thursday, August 14, 2014

Is Fluoride in Tap Water a Good Idea?

            The Cincinnati Enquirer recently released an article discussing how a Cincinnati charter is reopening a debate on water fluoridation. The article says “A task force revising the Cincinnati city charter uncovered a forgotten provision that may give Cincinnatians a unique voting right to remove the chemical from their water supply.” I am not too familiar with the political system or how this may turn out, but I strongly believe that fluoridation of the water will greatly improve the health of you and your family’s teeth.
            While some may argue against fluoridation for various reasons, there is no arguing against the efficacy or fluoride in the drinking water. The Enquirer goes on to say, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes fluoridation as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century due to its ability to prevent tooth decay.” Not only is this safe and effective, but it actually saves you money. A lifetime supply of fluoridated water ends up costing less than just one dental filling.
             So what are the arguments against fluoridation of drinking water? Too much of anything can be bad, and too much fluoride during the formative years can actually damage the teeth. But the amount of fluoride required far exceeds anything that could be found in drinking water. There is also a movement to live more natural or holistic and fluoride is another chemical that is added to the system. However, to prevent tooth decay, only one part per million of fluoride is needed. This equates to roughly 1 drop of fluoride per 10 gallons of water.
            From an oral health and an overall health standpoint, keeping fluoride in the water is a great idea. Just a tiny bit can go a long way in limiting tooth decay and in turn prevent infections and abscesses in the mouth.

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Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS

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