Common Myths About Water Fluoridation
When it comes to fluoride, there is a lot of controversy. While the use of topical fluoride does strengthen the enamel, at Prescott Dentistry, we understand that many of you have concerns about ingesting fluoride. Water is one of the biggest sources of fluoride ingestion in this country. Prescott Valley does not require fluoridation, so most of the water here does not contain added fluoride. But this is still a very relevant topic. If you have concerns about this, you will probably be interested in the following common myths about water fluoridation.
In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first U.S. city to add fluoride to its drinking water. This decision was based on research that suggested that children who drank fluoridated water had less tooth decay. As of 2012, 75% of U.S. citizens have access to fluoride in their drinking water. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) considers this one of the greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century. However, today, this is a controversial topic as more research has been done on the potential toxicity of fluoride.
Myth #1 — It’s the only way to Decrease Tooth Decay
Decreases in tooth decay have actually occurred worldwide, in countries with and without fluoridated drinking water. And communities that discontinued adding fluoride to their water have also seen a decline in tooth decay. This is probably due to greater access to dental services and the use of fluoridated toothpastes.
Myth #2 — It is an Essential Nutrient
Fluoride is not found naturally anywhere in the body. It is not required for normal growth and development. There are no recommended daily amounts for fluoride and a deficiency doesn’t cause disease.
Myth #3 — It is Completely Safe
A 2014 study names fluoride as a developmental neurotoxin. It has been shown to cause a lower IQ in children who are exposed to fluoride in utero, according to a 2017 study in Mexico. It can also cause fluorosis, which results in damage to the enamel, spotting, and discoloration of teeth. Fluorosis is caused by an overexposure to fluoride in the first eight years of life. A study done by the Center for Disease Control in 2010 found that fluorosis is actually increasing in children aged 12-15. There is also preliminary research to suggest that ingesting fluoride may cause many other health issues as well such as endocrine problems, damage to the brain and nerves, brittle bones, and cancer.
We hope these common myths about water fluoridation help you in making an informed decision about your health. In our next post, we will talk about ways to reduce your fluoride exposure. At Prescott Dentistry, we want to help you keep your smile beautiful and your body as healthy as possible!
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