Importance Of Fluoridation In Water

On January 25, 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first community in the world to adjust the level of fluoride in their drinking water supply. Since then, many communities have helped the dental health of tens of millions of Americans by adding fluoride to drinking water.

It is important to note that dental caries (decay) is the single most common disease amongst children (five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever). If children can avoid getting cavities and subsequent fillings in their early years, they can also avoid larger fillings, crowns, and subsequent root canals/bridges, and implants years down the road. Statistically, simple fillings placed at 12 years of age require an average of nearly $2,500 of maintenance by age 60.

The benefits of properly dosed water fluoridation have been called one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fluoride is naturally present in all water and is often called “nature’s cavity fighter.” Community water fluoridation is the precise adjustment of fluoride in a community’s water supply to the level recommended for optimal dental health.

There are a small number of individuals who feel there is a risk of fluoridation causing cancer. This opinion is not supported by facts. In fact, the U.S. National Cancer Institute says very clearly that there is no evidence linking water fluoridations to any form of cancer. The Centers for Disease Control has also stated that studies to date have produced no credible evidence of an association between fluoridated drinking water and increased risk of cancer. It is interesting that there are many communities across the U.S. that have naturally occurring fluoride levels in their water that are in excess of the recommended amounts, and studies have shown no increase in cancer rates.

Lake Mary, Sanford, Longwood, and surrounding areas have a very low amount of naturally occurring fluoride in the drinking water. We are an ideal community for fluoride supplementation, which is why fluoride is added to our drinking water. Roughly every dollar invested in our community water fluoridation saves $38 in dental care. That is a great return on an investment for everyone!

It is my recommendation that parents with young children who have concerns about drinking tap water look for bottled drinking water supplemented with the exact amount of fluoride recommended by the American Dental Association. Dannon Fluoridated Spring Water and Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water with Added Fluoride are two brands that are recommended. Most bottled waters have zero amounts of fluoride in them because they are spring derived.

The benefits of fluoride can be provided in many forms, including fluoride toothpaste, dietary fluoride supplements (tablets, drops, and lozenges), professional fluoride treatments (gels and varnish), and optimally fluoridated drinking water. It is important to note that community water fluoridation is more cost-effective than other forms of fluoride treatment or application, is accessible to the entire community, and provides frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride over time, making fluoridation productive for both children and adults in helping to prevent tooth decay.