Fluoride has been raising some controversy lately- is it good or bad, and should we be consuming it? In this post, we explore the ins and outs of fluoride in municipal and bottled water.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is present in all water sources, rocks, soil and even in the air.
Research shows that in small amounts, fluoride reduces cavities in children and adults. Research has also shown that it can even help repair teeth in the early stages of tooth decay.
Since the 1960s fluoride has been added into municipal water supplies and is credited with lowering the rates of tooth decay in the US. At present, South Africa’s water authorities don’t fluoridate municipal supplies.
But is it bad for you?
Over the years, in South Africa and abroad, questions have been raised over the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation.
Most healthcare professionals agree that not only is fluoride safe to consume in water, but it is also effective because fluoridated water keeps minimal amounts of fluoride in the mouth throughout the day.
American Dental Association recommends that all community water contain the ideal amount of 1 ppm (part per million) of fluoride, which is approximately 1.4 to 3.4 mg of fluoride intake per day for the average adult.
So, is it dangerous? Every person reacts to minerals differently. Fluoride is no different. As with all most things, there is danger in overexposure. However, the amount of fluoride in drinking water is typically not enough to cause fluoride toxicity and neurotoxicity.
Fluoride in bottled water
Unfortunately, fluoride levels in bottled waters can vary greatly and be challenging to determine.
If bottled water is your primary source of drinking water, you may not be getting enough fluoride, most bottled waters on the market do not contain optimal levels (0.7-1.2 part per million) of fluoride.
Regardless of where you get your water, staying hydrated is an essential part of good oral health to prevent dry mouth, bad breath, and cavities.
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