First off, what exactly is fluoride and why is it in our water? Well, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in rocks, soil and water sources. It’s often added to public water supplies in many areas as a public health measure in a bid to prevent tooth decay. The idea is that by having a small, controlled amount of fluoride in your drinking water can strengthen your teeth and make them more resistant to cavities. Think of it as a little dental superhero in your H20.
So, the pros. There are obvious benefits when it comes to improving oral health. There have been numerous studies that have shown that communities with fluoridated water tend to have lower rates of tooth decay. This can be especially beneficial for kids and for those who mightn’t have easy access to dental care.
Now, let’s dive into the cons. One of the biggest concerns that people have is the potential for too much fluoride. If you’re exposed to excessive fluoride, it can lead to a condition called dental fluorosis which can cause white spots or streaks on your teeth. In rare cases, it can even lead to skeletal fluorosis, a condition that affects your bones.
Some studies have also shown that fluoride can cause stomach issues. High fluoride levels can combine with stomach acid to form hydrogen fluoride, irritating the stomach lining. Studies on animals suggest that fluoride might increase acid secretion, reduce blood supply to the stomach lining, and harm stomach cells. That being said, the exact fluoride amount causing these effects in humans isn't confirmed. Areas with fluorosis and poor nutrition often show gastrointestinal symptoms, but the direct cause of these symptoms due to fluoride intake is uncertain.
Another study has shown that areas with naturally high fluoride in water found cognitive issues in kids. Recent research from Mexico and Canada showed that early-life fluoride exposure is linked to lower cognitive test scores with the damage to the brain seemingly increasing with higher fluoride doses. It's suggested that safe levels might be lower than the current recommended fluoride concentrations in drinking water.
And then for some, people just don’t like the taste or smell of fluoridated water. It can have a slightly metallic taste to it.
So, what’s the verdict? Well, it really depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. If you have access to regular dental care and prefer to get your fluoride from toothpaste and other dental products, you mightn’t be too keen on fluoridated water. Ultimately, it’s essential to stay informed and make the right choice for you and your family.
Removing fluoride from your drinking water is simple. We have a fluoride removal unit that is installed inline with your existing water filter under bench. You can view here, or get in touch to discuss what solution is best for you