If I use a toothpaste with fluoride, why do I need fluoride in
The combined use of fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated water offers protection above using either separately. Toothpaste has a higher concentration of fluoride, but while fluoride in drinking water is diluted, it comes in contact with your
teeth every time you drink tap water or consume beverages or foods prepared with tap water. This provides your teeth with a continuous exposure to fluoride all day.3
Does fluoride only protect children's teeth?
The caries preventive effects of fluoride have been demonstrated not only in children, but in adults including people with physical or health issues who are not able to perform oral care adequately.
What are the adverse effects of fluoridation?
Dental fluorosis is the most widely and frequently studied of all adverse effects of fluoride.2 Dental fluorosis is caused by the incorporation of fluoride into tooth enamel. It occurs in very mild, mild, moderate, or severe forms.
However, very mild and mild dental fluorosis are not considered to be adverse effects, either from a health or from a cosmetic perspective, and that mild and very mild fluorosis is barely detectable, even by experienced dental personnel.
The Summary Report on the Oral Health Component of the Canadian Health Measures Survey states, "So few Canadian children have moderate or severe fluorosis that, even combined, the prevalence is too low to permit reporting. This finding provides
validation that dental fluorosis remains an issue of low concern in this country".9
Skeletal fluorosis is a severe side effect of excessive fluoride exposure which results in a weakening of the bone structure in the skeleton. It is caused by exposure to fluoride at very high concentrations of 10 mg/L (10 parts per million),
and for long periods of time (e.g., ten years or more).
2 This can only occur when natural levels of fluoride are very high, i.e., almost 7 times higher than the maximum recommended exposure level1 of 1.5 mg/L or 1.5 parts per million.
Can infant formula be prepared using fluoridated
All infant formulas have some fluoride at low levels. Therefore, parents can use fluoridated water for preparing infant formula. If parents have a concern about fluorosis, they can choose to use low fluoride bottled water some of the time.
Does fluoride cause cancer or other diseases? Is it
Water fluoridation has been used since the 1940s and has been extensively studied.6 Throughout this long history, a causal relationship between water fluoridation and overall health has not been found.6
Questions have been raised about the relation of fluoride to cancer, immunotoxicity, reproductive/developmental toxicity, genotoxicity and/or neurotoxicity and intelligence quotient. To date, no causal relationship has been demonstrated between
fluoridation at recommended or optimal levels and any of these concerns.
2 It has also been suggested that there might be a relationship between osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer) in boys and use of water fluoridation. At this time, there is no scientific evidence to support water fluoridated at
optimal levels for health and the risk of any cancer, including osteosarcoma.
Why is fluoride added to water when it is available from
Adding fluoride to community drinking water is cost effective. Water sources are readily available and the costs of fluoridating water are inexpensive. In addition, water fluoridation is equitable and benefits the entire population on the
water system regardless of their social or economic status.
What are the public health benefits of water
Fluoridation of community water supplies has been called one of the top ten most significant breakthroughs in public health of the 20th century.3 Community water fluoridation is a safe, effective, and inexpensive method to reduce
tooth decay among populations with access to public water systems and to reducing the heavy burden of dental decay worldwide.
- Health Canada. Fluoride and Human Health. 2010
- Health Canada. Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality: Guideline Technical Document – Fluoride. FederalProvincial–Territorial Committee on Drinking Water. 2010. <a href="<a href="http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/2011-
fluoride-fluorure/index-eng.php#tb1">http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/2011- fluoride-fluorure/index-eng.php#tb1"><a href="http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/2011- fluoride-fluorure/index-eng.php#tb1">http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/2011-
- Centers for Disease Control. Community Water Fluoridation: Questions and Answers. 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/fact_sheets
- Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry. Fluoridation of Community Water Systems. 2003.
- Health Canada. Office of the Chief Dental Officer. Provincial and Territorial Estimates for Community Water Fluoridation coverage in 2007. <a href="http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/branch-dirgen/fnihb-dgspni/ ocdo-bdc/project-eng.php">http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/branch-dirgen/fnihb-dgspni/
- World Health Organization. Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. 2011. <a href="http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/ publications/2011/dwq_guidelines/en/">http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/ publications/2011/dwq_guidelines/en/
- American Public Health Association. Community Water Fluoridation in the United States. 2008. <a href="http://www,apha.org/advocacy/policy/policysearch/default. htm">http://www,apha.org/advocacy/policy/policysearch/default. htm
- Darby ML and Walsh MM. Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice. 3rd ed. 2010. p. 580.
- Health Canada. Summary Report on The Findings of the Oral Health Component of The Canadian Health Measures Survey. 2007–2009. http://www.fptdwg.ca/English/e-documents.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overview: Infant Formula and Fluorosis. 2011.
- The Canadian Medical Association. Community Water Fluoridation. 2010. <a href="http://www.cma.ca/index.php?ci_id=200754&la_id=1&q=c ommunity+water+fluoridation">http://www.cma.ca/index.php?ci_id=200754&la_id=1&q=c