The health effects of fluoride in public water have long been controversial. Some say it strengthens tooth enamel, while others say it is unsafe and can result in poisoning if swallowed. However, a recent study shows that fluoridated water may be beneficial, especially for those who don’t have access to low cost dental care.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Adelaide, Australia. A random sample of 3,779 Australians over the age of 15 was surveyed over a period of two years. In the survey, participants provided information about their levels of tooth decay and documented where they had lived during the past 40 years. Based on this information, the researchers then determined the percentage of each person’s life in which they lived in a community with fluoridated water compared with that person’s amount of decay.
The researchers found that those who had lived in a community with fluoridated water for at least 75% of their life had up to 30% less decay than those who had only spent 25% of their life in such communities. Therefore, it can be concluded that drinking fluoridated water may be providing low cost dental care. While the study does favor long term exposure to fluoridated water, it is still the strongest evidence yet of fluoridated water being beneficial to health.
According to this study, having fluoridated water long-term may help you get low cost dental care. It will help keep your teeth strong and healthy to avoid expensive dental work later on. To find out if your water is fluoridated, contact your community water district.
Dental care is not always low cost, but water is. Because fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, drinking fluoridated water can help prevent major dental problems that will result in expensive treatments. Talk to your dentist about other ways you can strengthen your teeth.