Water Fluoridation Policies Back in the Headlines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers water fluoridation to be the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all, reducing tooth decay by 25% in children and adults. Since tooth decay remains one of the most common chronic conditions among children, many continue to advocate for this passive intervention.

Yet, advocacy groups like FluorideAlert.org believe that fluoride is a highly toxic substance that can cause a range of adverse health effects. And that, even in the small amounts added to the water supply as a preventive measure, certain members of the public are at particularly high risk of harm.

It Started Local, Keep it Local

“A big thing about community water fluoridation is that it’s a passive intervention, you don’t really have to do anything other than drink tap water,” said Katherine Weno, oral health director at the CDC. “You don’t have to buy a product or access to a dental professional. It benefits people who don’t have money to go to a dentist or don’t have any insurance.” (USAToday.com)

On the other hand, “Our dental health is clearly much less dependent on fluoride in drinking water than way back when this important public health intervention was initiated,” said Philippe Grandjean, an adjunct professor at Harvard University School of Public Health, who has authored a couple of studies questioning the need for the added fluoride.

Since 1945, when the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first locality to add fluoride to its city water system, hundreds of cities have started community water fluoridation. By 2012, nearly 75% of the United States served by community water systems had access to fluoridated water. Because of its contribution to the dramatic decline in tooth decay over the past 70 years, CDC named community water fluoridation as 1 of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

Perhaps the best solution to water fluoridation policy is to keep it a local matter. After all, it began as a local solution to the problem of tooth decay so, as long as questions remain, it should probably be kept in the hands of local policy makers and their constituents.

The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.

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