Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Poisonous Fluoride?

Dear Dr. Walt,

Is fluoride in drinking water actually a good thing or a poison? Aren’t there potential side effects that outweigh its benefit?

—Unsure in Utah

Dear Unconvinced,

Fluoridation of drinking water has been called “one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

So why isn’t every public water system in America adding fluoride to its drinking water?

That’s a question that has been asked consistently by experts since the fluoridation wars began in the mid 1940s.

The American Dental Association reports that more than seventy years of scientific research has consistently shown that an optimal level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities both children and adults.

The National Institutes of Health says, “Fluoride continues to be dental science’s main weapon in the battle against tooth decay. Today, just about every toothpaste on the market contains fluoride as its active ingredient; water fluoridation projects currently benefit over 200 million Americans, and 13 million schoolchildren now participate in school-based fluoride mouth rinse programs.”

Community water fluoridation is recommended by nearly all public health, medical, and dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.

So, most experts regard this as a “case closed” issue.

The science of fluoridation is as settled as far as science can do so. The health benefit is undisputed save for a small but vocal group of deniers.

It’s time to move on.

Dr. Walt

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2018. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.
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