Water Flouridation

Published:November 3rd, 2011

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Water fluoridation is the addition or adjustment of the levels of fluoride in water. It was discovered that fluoride helps protect teeth against decay. As such, a lot of governments add fluoride to the public water supply to help their people in this aspect. Some countries that practice water fluoridation include the United States, Greece, and New Zealand.

Flouride is a mineral that is naturally found in rocks, soils, fruits, vegetables, and water. This mineral is believed to make the enamel stronger and more resistant to acids and bacteria. While water naturally has fluoride in it, the level of fluoride contained is not enough to prevent tooth decay. Thus, water fluoridation is done to make sure that the water contains the appropriate amount of fluoride.

Because water in different areas contain different amounts of fluoride, it is not unusual that the process for water fluoridation varies from place to place, even within one country. Some areas are believed to have a suffice amount of fluoride in their water thus, they no longer need to do anything. Because we are the ones adding fluoride, the increase of fluoride is controlled and the amounts can differ per location. There are areas, however, where the fluoride level is believed to be more than is required and so it may be decreased.

Although many believe that there are no health risks to the intake of small amounts of fluoride, thue consumption of large amounts of fluoride can produce problems. One such problem is dental fluorosis. This is when damage to the teeth occurs caused by too much fluoride intake. This is why the amount of fluoride is at times decreased.

There are some who believe that there are other problems caused by water fluoridation aside from this. Flouride poisoning is largely believed to be one problem that results from the consumption of a large amount of fluoride. On the other hand, there are many who believe that this is not likely to happen based on the levels of fluoride that can generally be found in water.

There are also other beliefs that oppose water fluoridation. Some think that adding fluoride to drinking water will make it poisonous. Others believe that consuming an excessive amount of fluoride may cause problems such as hip fractures, cancer, and liver damage. According to these people, there are also studies that have found that fluoride is not as helpful in preventing tooth decay as was previously believed.

While there are many opponents to water fluoridation, it is generally believed that adding fluoride to drinking water is economically sound. If water fluoridation is not done, many people, most particularly children, would need to get fluoride supplements to prevent tooth decay. Giving fluoride supplements through drinking water is shown to be a lot less expensive than having people buy products and only a handful will at that.

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