Water fluoridation is a public health measure that makes the water supply more healthful by using a filter to remove excess lead, arsenic and other contaminants from an area’s drinking water. Effective against about 70 percent of such pollutants, it helps the teeth retain their natural enamel as well as train children’s teeth to remain healthy as they grow up. However, fluoride comes with its own set of health concerns, which is why residents should be educated on what the optimal levels for their communities are. With that knowledge in hand, you can decide whether or not you want to consume local water or invest in bottled water so you aren’t relying on potentially contaminated sources when you’re out running errands or trying to help loved ones maintain a healthier lifestyle!
Introduction and Overview of Fluoride
Water fluoridation has been a long-standing public health practice in the United States and around the world. Fluoride is added to water supplies to reduce dental caries (tooth decay). The main benefits of fluoridated water include:
Reduced need for toothpaste and/or floss
Prevention of cavities
Improved oral health for people of all ages
Better overall dental health for people who live in areas with fluoridated water
What Average Fluoride Levels are Currently Provided?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), average fluoride levels in public water supplies across the United States range from 0.7 to 2.4 mg/L. The level of fluoride provided in your county’s water is largely determined by local health policy, with some counties providing more fluoride than others. Ideally, the level of fluoride should be 1 mg/L or lower to optimize dental benefits and minimize teeth fluorosis (a cosmetic appearance of teeth that results from too much fluoride exposure). However, many communities have water with levels above 1 mg/L, which may provide some dental benefits but also increases the risk of Fluoride toxicity (a serious condition caused by high levels of fluoride).
To determine if your county provides optimal amounts of fluoride, it is important to know both your local health policy and the average level of fluoride in public water supplies across the United States. If you are concerned about the potential health risks associated with excessive fluoride exposure, it is best to speak with your doctor or other healthcare professional about the best way to monitor and reduce your intake of fluoride.
How To Check If My County Provides Optimal Levels of Fluoride in the Water
The optimal levels of fluoride in water depend on the region, but most counties provide an adequate amount of fluoride for dental health. The level of fluoride in water can be checked by looking up your county’s Fluoride Deficiency Control Plan (DCP) online. If there is a dentists’ group in your area, they may also be able to provide information about the water fluoridation program in your area.
Water fluoridation is one of the oldest and most effective public health measures we have. It helps prevent tooth decay by reducing the amount of acid that’s available to form cavities in teeth. However, there has been some recent controversy surrounding water fluoridation, with some people questioning the safety of its long-term effects. If your county doesn’t provide an optimal level of fluoride, it’s important to know why and how you can get your community to start providing this vital public health measure.