Monthly Archives: January 2014

Water Fluoridation For Tooth Decay?

16024298_sRecently, some experts have questioned the need for water fluoridation for tooth decay and suggested the need to assess the possible health risks associated with this practice. For instance, a 2007 analysis from the British Medical Journal makes the following points: 1) water fluoridation is highly controversial; 2) evidence is often misused or misinterpreted and uncertainties glossed over in polarised debates and; 3) problems include identifying benefits and harms, whether fluoride is a medicine, and the ethical implications.  A 2012 article in the journal, Critical Public Health states that the key problem is a lack of good quality evidence of both effectiveness and harm. Both proponents and opponents of water fluoridation continue to selectively draw on the evidence to support a view that water fluoridation is effective and safe or that it is harmful. According to the author of this paper, a more balanced interpretation is that water fluoridation has little effect, is a poor delivery mechanism, causes dental fluorosis and may have other long-term harmful health effects. Lastly, a more recent editorial (September, 2013) in the journal, Alternative Therapies states ‘As is becoming increasingly clear, fluoridating public water supplies is outdated and unnecessary and may lead to serious adverse health effects while being essentially ineffective in prevention of dental caries. What we can do is quite simple: brush our teeth with fluoridated toothpaste after meals, as this has been shown repeatedly to be far superior to fluoridation of the public water supply.’