Before jumping to the good and bad side of water fluoridation, let’s see what is fluoride? Fluoride comes from a natural and abundant element, Fluorine. Fluoride is a natural mineral in soil, water, and food. Present in our bones and teeth. It helps in strengthening enamel, the outer layer of our teeth, and plays a vital role in preventing cavities. It is synthetically produced as well to meet the need for an appropriate amount of Fluoride in the places where it is deficient. Fluoride toothpaste is another way to help adults and children reduce the chances of tooth decay at a very early age. It not only protects the enamel but also reduces the chance of loss of mineral, hence reversing the signs of early tooth decay. Therefore, used in toothpaste, mouthwashes, and other supplements.
Water is a prime source of Fluoride in our diet. It is the controlled process to adjust Fluoride in public water supply supporting society in preventing tooth decay issues. In this process, the level of Fluoride kept at an adequate level. It slows down enamel demineralization and increases the rate of remineralization. Tooth decay is a significant issue of any society affecting approx. 60 to 90% of children and adults, hence classified as the most prevalent chronic diseases worldwide.
As it is natural, therefore, it has always been a cost-effective way to help society fight and win tooth issues.
However, Fluoride is a useful ingredient for a healthy life, but it can be harmful if its intake not controlled. The good and bad side of Water Fluoridation are as follows:
- Due to Fluorine abundance, It is a widespread public health measure to prevent tooth issues
- Fluorine prevents tooth decay regardless of the age and significantly for people who have had exposure to Fluoride for most of their lives
- Quite advantageous in strengthening bones as well
- It helps to improve self-esteem and confidence of society through sharp teeth and shiny smiles
- Fluorine doesn’t affect taste, smell or appearance of water
- It reduces cavities in children
- Fluorine can cause dental fluorosis, a chronic condition caused by excessive intake of fluoride compounds but it doesn’t increase chances of tooth decay
- It may cause skeletal fluorosis damaging joints and bones
- Excess fluorine may cause osteoporosis and cancer
Although water fluoridation is a natural and straightforward way to improve health, sometimes its disadvantages can outweigh the advantages.
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