Why do we have fluoride in our water?
Fluoride is naturally available in soil, foods, and water. It is synthetically produced in toothpaste, drinking water, chemical products, and mouthwashes. Adding fluoride in water is kept low to prevent tooth decay.
Nowadays, tooth decay has become a common problem even for children, and regular dental checks have become so unaffordable that adding fluoride is regarded as a “savings” and beneficial.
Nevertheless, the concerns regarding the effect of fluoride on health, bones, teeth, and neurological development have arisen.
A few fluoride facts
- Fluoride is available from Fluorine, and adding it reduces tooth decay.
- Fluoride fights decaying of teeth by demineralization and remineralization.
- Fluoride in high quantities leads to dental or skeletal fluorosis that damages joints and bones.
- Fluoride excessive exposure is associated with many more health issues.
0.7 ppm fluoride content is considered right for dental health. A concentration above 4.0 ppm could be dangerous. Fluoride exposure in high concentrations during childhood, as teeth are developing, results in mild dental fluorosis, appearing as tiny white streaks in the tooth enamel.
Though the teeth are safe, the discoloration stays. Children under 6 years should be supervised, not allowed to swallow toothpaste, and must not use mouthwash.
What do WHO and EPA say?
The WHO informs that long-term exposure to drinking water if water has over 1.5ppm fluoride leads to health problems, and they announced 1.5ppm as the limit. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the maximum level at 4ppm and the secondary maximum levels at 2ppm. Above 4ppm levels are dangerous, and EPA asks people to inform them if the levels are more than 2ppm.