Since the first municipal water fluoridation programs began in 1945, the practice has been embattled with controversy. Concerns over adding fluoride in water supplies caused a rash of protests throughout the US during the 1950s and ’60s. The government was adding fluoride to the water supply without citizens’ consent. The added fluoride didn’t provide a nutritional or proven health benefit.
Now, many cities and countries are coming to see the truth behind the unethical practice of adding a chemical with questionable and unproven health benefits without the consent of the citizens. They recognize that fluoride in water should be a choice of each household rather than something forced upon them.
Last year, Israel halted its water supply fluoridation program as a sign of respect to the freedom of choice that should be given to its people. In America, local communities are standing up to the potential risks of water fluoridation by preventing such programs from taking place. The city of Oneida in New York just recently voted to refuse water fluoridation, saving the public around $70,000 in unnecessary costs.
When it comes to your rights as an American citizen, you should know why many are opposed to the idea of fluoride in water.
A Stained History
What many people do not know is that the discovery of fluoride was actually cause for alarm. People living in certain areas like Colorado had odd, mottled staining on their teeth. When researching the cause, scientists discovered that the compound known as fluoride was leaching into groundwater sources naturally. Known as the “Colorado brown stain,” this unsightly coating on enamel should have been a major concern from the scientific community.
Instead, they decided that it would be a good idea to begin adding Fluoride in the water supplies. They justified this plan by arguing that at small doses, fluoride can actually be beneficial in preventing cavities without causing the staining. However, they were unable to assure the public that fluoride levels could be adequately controlled. Rather, community-level studies were conducted — without the residents of the communities consenting to participate in these studies (like Grand Rapids, Michigan).
Possible Dangers of Fluoride in Water
Consider these facts when deciding whether or not fluoridated water could be safe for your family or your children:
● The National Kidney Foundation has removed its support for fluoridation programs over concern of how it could affect patients on dialysis
● Fluoride consumption has been linked to brittle bone disease
● Evaporation can cause the theoretically “carefully controlled” doses of fluoride to increase dramatically
● Studies in India have linked fluoridated water consumption to underweight babies, which weighed as little as 1.5 lbs after a full term
● At the same time that “routine dental health care” improved (eg, brushing and flossing twice daily, awareness that sugary drinks and snacks could cause dental cavities in children and adults, use of sealants on children’s teeth) and kids and adults started having fewer dental cavities, some organizations and manufacturers claimed that the reason for fewer cavities was the fluoride being added to toothpaste and water.
You can research your local municipal water utility provider to see if they add fluoride in the water and how much the dose is. Some household filters can remove the chemical almost entirely.
Families who ensure that their children brush three times a day (using fluoride free toothpaste) and floss regularly can often prevent far more cavities than a questionable chemical.
Visit our fluoride-free dentistry page to learn more.