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Systemic Sources of Fluoride
Fluoride can be ingested via drinking water, other beverages, foods, toothpaste, and fluoride supplements. Consider the following facts about public water fluoridation:
It has been available in the United States since the mid-1940’s.
In 2008, 72.4% of the population served by public water systems
(195 of 270 million persons) received optimally fluoridated water [defined as 0.7 parts per million (ppm)]. Public water fluoridation practice varies considerably from state to state and city to city. (View MMWR chart.)
The fluoridation of water was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
The CDC, the US Task Force on Community Preventive Services, and the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care have all concluded that there is strong evidence that community water fluoridation is effective in preventing dental caries
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed changes to the guidelines on fluoride in drinking water in 2011. The agency recommended lowering the concentration of fluoride from a range of 0.7-1.2 mg/L to 0.7 mg/L.
Recent reviews from the UK and Canada, while supportive of water fluoridation, have recommended that clinicians balance the benefits of fluoride against the risk of
Fluorosis: An abnormal condition (as mottled enamel of human teeth) caused by fluorine or its compounds.
fluorosis (Chapter 6: Fluoride) when deciding whether to fluoridate water.
Water filters may decrease the fluoride content of fluoridated community water. The commonly used activated charcoal filters and cellulose filters have a negligible effect on fluoride content, whereas reverse osmosis filters and the process of water distillation removes almost all fluoride from water.
Community water fluoridation is an effective caries prevention measure.
Water fluoridation was recognized as one of the 10 greatest public health advancements of the 20th century.
0.7 ppm of fluoride is considered optimal fluoridation of water. Learn more.
The fluoride content of water is not affected by use of charcoal or cellulose filters.
View the Chapter 6 Photo Gallery.