affects the human body
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally at low levels, and is often found in drinking water supply sources, such as groundwater. In the 1930s, researchers determined that children who drank water with naturally high levels of fluoride had less tooth decay as opposed to those who drank water with lower fluoride content. Since the 1940s, mineral fluoride has been added to low fluoride community water supplies throughou the United States to prevent tooth decay. In the United States, community water fluoridation has been identified as the most cost-effective method in reducing tooth decay by 25% in children and adults. In Los Angeles County, 50 different water providers add fluoride to their community water supplies.
With multiple sources of fluoride used by the general population, such as dental care products or dietary fluoride supplements for the purposes of reducing tooth decay, there is debate whether community water systems should stop adding fluoride to water supplies as cumulative ingestion of fluoride could potentially lead to undesired health consequences. Part of the debate, is the topic of bottled water, as several studoes have shown that children who primarily consume bottled water than tap water have a higher likelihood of developing cavities.
Fluoride has not been listed as a carcinogen.
Fluoride is present in every household's tap water, irrelevant of whether your water provider fluoridates its water supply. However, the levels of fluoride may vary. That being said, individuals concerned with excess fluoride exposure can take several measures to reduce overall fluoride exposure.
At home water filters such as Reverse Osmosis can remove fluoride from tap water compared to other at home water filter options. Furthermore, formula fed infants can consider opting for a water source that contains less fluoride or no fluoride. For some parents, breastfeeding may be an option for their infants as the mother's body will filter out some levels of fluoride out of breastmilk.
Lastly, individuals who want to reduce their potential fluoride exposure can consider switching to dental products that do not contain fluoride, especially for infants who may accidentally swallow toothpaste.