Should Our Water be Fluoridated?

Public water supplies have been fluoridated to reduce cavities, but there are experts who believe that fluoride in water does nothing to solve tooth decay problems of communities. These experts, who include dentists and other medical professionals, maintain that fluoridation in water can even have harmful effects.

Supporters of water fluoridation hold the view that keeping water supplies fluoridated is effective in the reduction of cavities, specifically in children of low-income families. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) including water fluoridation among the leading public health measures of the 20th century, proponents of water fluoridation are confident in their claims.

There are studies that conclude that there has been a decline of tooth decay since fluoride was added to water supplies. Tooth decay may not be as severe as other diseases, but what it progresses to is a reason to take it seriously. Serious health issues, including infections that affect the jaw area, can result from untreated tooth decay. For this reason, many countries have long introduced fluoride in their water supply, because of the belief that doing so helps reduce the dental problem. But does fluoride really help communities in their efforts to be free of tooth decay?

Opponents of Water Fluoridation

Those who believe that water fluoridation must stop view the process as unethical as it robs people of their choice. It is said that putting fluoride in water supplies allows for the intake of uncontrolled amount of fluoride, especially by people who consume a lot of water, such as laborers and those with kidney problems. Those who advocate to stop water fluoridation also view the process as unnecessary because people are already using toothpaste which is rich in fluoride.

Fluoride Action Network, a group of people who are campaigning against water fluoridation, support their claims against water fluoridation with studies that reveal how over consumption of fluoride leads to diseases such as thyroid disorders, bone fractures, and stunted brain function and development. One disease that is linked to excessive intake of fluoride is dental fluorosis, which symptoms include white streaks (for mild cases) or brown stains, broken enamel, and pits (for severe cases).