One of the hot topics among activists around the United States today is the fluoridation of the water supply. It’s something you don’t really think about every day since you can’t taste it and it doesn’t make a dramatic immediate impact. But once you start to question it, the pieces don’t really make sense.
If you ask the common person about fluoride in the water, they either won’t know what you’re talking about or will say, “of course we have fluoride in the water—to help prevent tooth decay. Just look at all the pearly whites out there now compared to decades ago.” After all the Center for Disease Control and the American Dental Association approve of fluoridation. You should too! Granted, we have better teeth than we used to, but was it the fluoridation of the water that caused it or is it just correlation?
Fluoride is naturally occurring in water and there have been studies that showed improved tooth health from fluoridation of the water supply, but some of these studies have been debunked and there are a whole host of other studies that show harm done but fluoridation. Fourteen countries have actually banned the process.
And on the surface, it doesn’t make much sense. Fluoride is supposed to be topical—in other words, it only has an effect when it’s in contact with the tooth (that’s why you probably had to sit in the dentist office with a mouth guard full of the stuff while you vacuumed up fluoridated saliva dripping out of your mouth for 5 minutes every time you went to the dentist). But if it’s topical, why are we putting it in drinking water? We don’t keep drinking water in our mouths for 5 minutes, we drink it! And what happens when we ingest so much fluoride? It could lead to thyroid cancer and other conditions. This is likely why so many countries have stopped fluoridation.
So, if there’s a question about the efficacy and safety of fluoridation, why is the default to err on the side of too much fluoride? Even if it was good to ingest fluoride, why should we be forcing people to drink it as a community? Why not simply let people make their own choices about ingesting fluoride . . . you know like we let people make their own choices about ingesting vitamins, supplements, toothpaste, and other healthy things. Why should fluoride be an obvious choice to force upon everyone? It doesn’t make any sense. If you disagree, please feel free to comment. Otherwise, I recommend you look into the case and question your water authority.