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The pros and cons of fluoride in water

Fluoride is a chemical additive that can help to prevent tooth decay. Water fluoridation is the process of adding fluoride in water in order to reduce cavities. Read on to find out all the pros and cons of fluoride in water.

By Kate Pope
The pros and cons of fluoride in water

The pros of water fluoridation

Bone density

The fluoridation of drinking water helps to maintain good bone density. A scientific team from the University of Oregon, studied the effect of fluoridated water in a large number of elderly women. As already known, after menopause women have an increased risk of suffering from osteoporosis, a disease that leads to reduced bone density. According to the study, adding fluoride in water helps to keep bone density at normal levels and reduces the likelihood of fractures by 30%.

Decontamination

Adding fluoride to drinking water is a method of decontamination that is used instead of chlorination in many large cities.

Dental health

Fluoride makes the tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to the
acid-producing bacteria that cause tooth decay. The bacteria that are normally present inside the mouth break down the sugars derived from foods and produce acids. These acids dissolve the hard outer surface (enamel) of the teeth, which leads to the formation of cavities.

Fluoride has the unique ability to make the enamel more resistant to the acids and it may also help to repair some minor damages to the enamel. The fluoride added to drinking water has proven to be a safe, inexpensive and highly effective method against the decay of teeth. Many studies show that the fluoridation of drinking water has lead to a reduction of up to 60% in cavities during childhood.

The cons of water fluoridation

People consider it as a mass medication

Many people believe in fluoride conspiracy theories and consider it a type of compulsory mass medication. Some others use fluoride as a scapegoat and accuse it of causing all kinds of diseases, such as cancer. However, these theories are not supported by science.

Dental fluorosis

The only known adverse effect of water fluoridation is dental fluorosis, which is simply a cosmetic problem. Dental fluorosis is the appearance of tiny white streaks on the teeth and it’s the result of receiving too much fluoride, either by drinking huge amounts of water or by swallowing your toothpaste for extended periods of time.

Final word

If you worry about the amounts of fluoride that you consume, then you can use a fluoride filter or other tap water filters to eliminate fluoride. However, in this case, you may have to take fluoride supplements in another form.

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