Currently about two-thirds of the U.S. population receives fluoride through their community water system. The theory has been that this would decrease tooth decay in our children. Some health care professionals listed water fluoridation as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century; in contrast, most European countries have experienced substantial declines in tooth decay without its use, primarily due to the introduction of fluoride toothpaste in the 1970s.
Other professionals say fluoridation works topically and does not work by ingested. It’s like trying to ingest your sunscreen. So let’s put it on our teeth and on when brushing. The dentist puts the fluoride on your teeth and you’re very careful not to swallow any there in the office. Let’s not put it inside our bodies where it doesn’t work and where it causes a lot of harm and toxicity.
Like vaccination and food fortification, fluoridation presents a conflict between benefiting the common good and infringing on individual rights. This has been a very heated controversial issue around the world.
Conspiracy theories involving fluoridation are common, and include claims that fluoridation was motivated by protecting the U.S. atomic bomb program from litigation, that it is part of a Communist or New World Order plot to take over the world, that it was pioneered by a German chemical company to make people submissive to those in power.
Fluoride can occur naturally in water in concentrations well above recommended levels, which can have several long-term adverse effects, including severe dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, and weakened bones. While the EPA Maximum Contaminate level is 4 mg/l, the World Health Organization recommends a guideline maximum fluoride value of 1.5 mg/L as a level at which fluorosis should be minimal.
Fluoridation does not affect the appearance, taste, or smell of drinking water. The average amount of fluoride in the US city municipalities is 0.7 mg/l to 1.2mg/l. Activated alumina (aluminum oxide) filter media, bone char carbon media, and reverse osmosis systems are the three EPA recommended methods for removing fluoride from drinking water.
So what it boils down to is, what you feel about the fluoride in your water and whether you want to drink it or apply it yourself.