Pros And Cons Of Fluoride  

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element found in rock, soil, air and vegetation. It is nature’s answer to tooth decay and makes the structure of teeth more resistant to decay. It is toxic to bacteria and stops it from producing acids that cause tooth decay.

It also encourages remineralization in the surface of the teeth which help in repairing early decay or damage before causing cavity. Apart from the above, it helps in developing enamel on a child’s tooth before they start growing and reduces enamel solubility.

Fluoridated water protects against cavities, root caries and helps to remineralize small decay. It is the most effect public health measure to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health for a lifetime. Fluoridation inexpensively and safely benefits both children and adults by preventing tooth decay, regardless of their socio economic status or access to care. It has played an important role in reduction of decay (40 percent to 70 percent in children) and loss of teeth in adults (40 percent to 60 percent). Fluoridation of water has brought about an improvement in the oral health of children in rural areas.

Though fluoridation of water has a lot of advantages, higher concentration of fluoride in water can be dangerous too. Fluoride taken in doses of 10-20 parts per million may cause bone weakness. However, fluorosis (white spots in teeth) can happen only if certain infant formulas are mixed with fluoridated water, yet it does not impair the integrity of the child’s teeth and the benefits of fluoridation are much higher.

There is no evidence that fluoride accumulates in the body to a toxic level. Rather, the risk of not fluoridating drinking water is much greater. Fluoride levels in drinking water do not pose a risk for health problems such as cancer, kidney failure or bone diseases.

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