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The Fight Over Fluoridation


It seems like a good idea on the surface. Adding preventative health measures to protect the masses from one of the most prevalent health care issues sounds like an altruistic approach to public health. But given the unknowns, the act of adding fluoride to public drinking water has garnered a great deal of opposition and controversy. 

Backed by the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the process of water fluoridation was first implemented in the 1940's as a way to reduce cavities, especially in poor children. Where the CDC lists it as one of the top 10 most important public health measures of the 20th century, others are not so sure. though the prevalence of tooth decay has declined in the US after fluoridation began, it has shown to have done the same in other countries where the addition of fluoride does not take place. 

Where proponents point to the decline in tooth decay rates as support for fluoridation, opponents point to the lack of evidence that fluoride-enriched water actually aides in protection of tooth enamel and the increase in dental fluorosis in American children. Caused by excess fluoride exposure, fluorosis causes white streaks in tooth surfaces when mild, turning to brown streaks and breakage of tooth enamel in more severe cases. According to the CDC, 41% of children age 12 to 15 had some form of dental fluorosis. Proponents are also concerned about the long-term health effects of fluoridated water, as fluoride is known to be toxic at certain concentration levels. 

Home water filtration systems can help reduce the level of fluoride, alongside a number of harmful contaminants, from your family's water, leaving you with clean ,healthy drinking water that pose no health risks. 

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