Fluoride-Tap Water Debate Brews Again

In efforts to protect their residents' teeth, some municipalities are pulling the fluoride out of their public water supplies, such as Florida's Pinellas County, which made the decision earlier this week. The concern is that the fluoride is doing more harm than good, reports USA Today.

Cities across the country have added fluoride, which is believed to combat cavities, to their water since the 1940s. However, research conducted over the last few decades has hinted that excess intake of fluoride actually breaks down tooth enamel and causes stains to develop on the teeth. The American Dental Association, however, applauded the government in January, when it set about recalibrating the ratio of fluoride to water to 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter, which is considered the optimal level. Yet some areas of the country have levels of as much as 1.2 milligrams, according to USA Today.

“Water fluoridation is one of our most potent weapons in disease prevention, and we want as many people as possible to have the benefits of this simple, safe, inexpensive and proven health care measure,” said ADA President Dr. Raymond F. Gist, DDS on the ADA's website.

How do you feel about fluoride in your water? Do you think it is a helpful additive to fight cavities?