The Great Fluoride Debate

There has been a lot of speculation recently about the use of fluoride. Fluoride as most of us know is a common ingredient in our toothpaste but where it causes most controversy is whether or not is should be added to our drinking water. Let’s do a little more investigation into fluoride and find out exactly what it is, what are the advantages and disadvantages, and what do the experts think?

First of all, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found naturally in water as well as other things so why should we worry about it when extra is added to our water? Well, experts cannot agree and have different opinions on this. The advantages of fluoride they say are that it is fundamental in providing protection and helping our teeth to grow and prevents tooth decay. According to my local dentist Liverpool Street in the UK, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

The opposition to the addition of fluoride into our drinking water comes from both an ethical narrative as well as a medical narrative. The first one is to do with personal choice. When some governments started adding fluoride to water without the consent of the people it, was seen as being somewhat unethical. People were not informed about the conceived risks of too much fluoride and only told of the benefits. Some people even regard the adding of fluoride to water as a form of mass medication. Certainly more research needs to be done with regards to the side effects of fluoride. Indeed, some research has already been done into the links between fluoride and some forms of cancer. More alarmingly, there are some established links between fluoride and osteoporosis, the bone weakening disease that can cause much pain and lead to easily broken bones.

In relation to the options open to us with regards to personal the intake of fluoride, our most common option is what toothpaste we use. Fluoride is put in our toothpaste for obvious reasons, it helps build up the enamel that protects our teeth. If you are concerned about this there are alternatives to fluoride that can be found naturally which will help you protect your teeth. Use fluoride free toothpaste and check your diet. Fluoride occurs naturally in a lot of foods and vegetables and you might find you are already getting your recommended daily intake naturally.