The growing debate over fluoride treatment is hea
ting up. The government plans to lower the recommended levels for fluoride in water supplies – the first change in 50 years.
Fluoride in drinking water has long been credited for dramatically cutting cavities and tooth decay. But too much of it can actually harm your teeth.
A recent government study found that about 2 out of 5 adolescents have tooth streaking or spottiness because of too much fluoride. In some extreme cases, teeth were even pitted by the mineral. This reported spotting problem is what prompted government officials to lower the fluoride levels in drinking water.
The standard fluoride level since 1962 has been a range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter. Department of Health and Human Services now recommends that level be lowered to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water.
Since fluoride is also found in toothpaste, oral rinses, and prescription supplements – groups that oppose fluoride in water say this problem has been overlooked for far too long. They cite a report, issued by the National Academy of Sciences five years ago, which found that people who consume a lifetime of too much fluoride can lead to crippling bone abnormalities and brittleness.
While, the American Dental Association says the water fluoridation is a good thing, it too is applauding the government’s move to change the fluoride levels.
Most public tap water is fluoridated, with an estimated 64% Americans drinking it. Portland, OR is the largest U.S. city that does NOT fluoridate its water supply.