On January 7th, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is lowering the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water from 0.7-1.2ppm to 0.7ppm. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it is reviewing whether or not it will recommend decreasing the maximum allowable level of fluoride in drinking water from 4ppm to a lower level.
Should we, therefore, be worried about too much fluoride in our water? We think not, because of the following factors:
Why was the recommendation made, then, to lower the amount of fluoride in drinking water? For cosmetic issues--not due to any health hazard from fluoride.
"The proposal...is based on an increase in dental fluorosis over the last 20 years", said Dr. William G. Kohn, director of the division of oral health at the HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fluorosis is a change in the appearance of the teeth from fluoride levels ingested above optimal levels in childhood while the teeth are forming. Some describe it a s looking like "white freckles" on the teeth. Mild fluorosis, which is by far the most common type, does not pose any significant risks to normal function, and it may actually make the teeth more resistant to decay.
So, if you live in an area of fluoridated water, please be assured you can safely drink as much tap water as you need to stay healthy, and by doing so, you will be fighting cavities!
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