Do we really need fluoride in water?

Have you ever wondered why we need to have fluoride in drinking water when there is already fluoride in our toothpaste?

The October 2010 issue of the journal of the American Dental Association has confirmed that infants fed with formula milk prepared from fluoridated water run a greater risk of fluorosis (mottling and discolouration of teeth enamel).

On the same subject, another book published in September this year – The Case Against Fluoride by Paul Connett, James Beck and HS Micklem argues forcefully against the practice of adding fluoride to drinking water supplies.

Among the countries which fluoridate their water supplies are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, USA and Vietnam. Most parts of Europe have stayed away from the practice. The amount added varies from 0.6 to 1.2 mg/l.

Most dental associations, which endorse fluoridation of water supplies say it is a safe, low-cost way to prevent tooth decay, particularly amongst cavity-prone children.

But the new book quotes WHO statistics to indicate that the rates of tooth-decays in twelve-year olds have been coming down in non-fluoridated countries as fast as in fluoridated ones mainly because of rising income levels and better dental hygiene. “Meanwhile, the scientific evidence that fluoridation may be causing harm gets stronger with each passing year,” it says.

“I’m convinced, based on animal studies, clinical trials and epidemiological studies, that drinking fluoridated water for a whole lifetime will increase your risk of arthritis and also increase your risk of hip fractures, which is very serious in the elderly,” said Dr Connett in an interview with the Globe and Mail. “The reason for these problems is that half the fluoride people ingest is stored in the bone.”

Dr Connett is executive director of the Fluoride Action Network and professor emeritus of chemistry at St Lawrence University in New York.

“We argue that these risks are far too high when we are considering the mass medication of millions of people, the more so since the benefits are now seen to be so small and achievable by other means by dozens of non-fluoridating countries,” say the authors of The Case Against Fluoride.

According to them, when you use the water supply to control medication, you cannot control the dose, you cannot control who gets it and there is no individual supervision.

The book alleges that the governments of fluoridating countries have set up panels to review the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation but by virtue of the composition of these panels, their conclusions are frequently mere rubber stamps for long-entrenched government policy.

It is time for the proponents of fluoridation to do some introspection. In today’s urban world where thousands of people are already on medication for a variety of ailments ranging from blood pressure to hormonal imbalance, and with an aging population, does the water-delivery mechanism really need to deliver one more drug?

7 thoughts on “Do we really need fluoride in water?

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  2. In order for tooth decay to be developed in a tooth, that tooth must have acid producing bacteria around it, along with food for the bacteria to feed upon. Teeth that are susceptible to decay will have little to no fluoride in the enamel to fight the plaque. Fluoride can destroy decay, although it won’t be able to do much once the decay has started to eat the teeth.’

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    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this short article
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  4. Water fluoridation is the single most effective practice for tooth decay prevention. It is evidence based. Yes in my opinion it is a good practice.

    In decades of my practicing dentistry, I have first hand seen its benefits. The opponents of fluoridation as with opponents of mercury amalgam filing and other holistic dentistry proponents have for the most part opinions, not evidence based facts. Even when there may be some controversial evidence, the scientific evidence cited by major dental associations such as American Dental Association far out weigh any possible risks. And if one is really concerned , bottled non fluoridated water use for drinking and cooking and ingestion is a cheap and doable alternative practice. Incidence of tooth decay is already increasing significantly with incresing use of no fluoridated bottled water.

    Piara Singh DMD, Ph.D

  5. Piara Singh DMD, Ph.D ~ you refer to science, but there has never been a single study showing that INGESTING fluoride benefits the teeth. Furthermore, our water is being ‘dosed’ with fluoride that is a bi-product of the pesticide industry. This stuff will burn right through asphalt! If spilled, haz-mat gear is required for clean-up. Only after the pesticide industry was forced to dispose of this hazardous material ‘safely’ (which would come at a high COST) rather than dumping it in the rivers and land around their production plants as they had been doing, only then did they employ wet scrubbers to capture the toxic material before SELLING it to water departments. There have been several studies that show that fluoride causes bone and brain damage. This is commonly known in the scientific and medical communities. So, my questions for you are; How much of this ‘drug’ should each person consume daily to achieve the positive results that you claim? Should this dose be ongoing?~ decades? Would the dose be the same for an infant, a teen. an adult or senior? What about people who are taking other medications? Please keep in mind that it would be extremely difficult for people to determine how much they have ingested on a daily basis due to the fluoridated water used for processed foods, juices, etc. and the fact that we are also bathing in this, washing our clothes in it and raising our crops with it. Could you point me in the direction of the science you refer to? I have not been able to find it.

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