FAQ

Why Do We Want Community Water Fluoridation?

Communities with optimally fluoridated water experience less dental decay than communities that have only trace amounts (if all other factors, such as socio-economic status, are equal).

Why Do We Want Oregon to Adopt a Policy That Requires Community Water Fluoridation (i.e. a “State Mandate”)

For over 60 years, community water fluoridation has been the cornerstone of caries prevention in the United States. As noted in “Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General (2000),” community water fluoridation continues to be the most cost-effective, practical, and safe means for reducing and controlling the occurrence of tooth decay in a community.  A significant advantage of water fluoridation is that anyone, regardless of socioeconomic level, can enjoy these health benefits during their daily lives – … Continue reading

Is Water Fluoridation Effective?

Prior to the wide-spread use of water fluoridation, 98 out of 100 Americans experienced some tooth decay by the time they reached adulthood. In the 1940s, with the advent of public water fluoridation, there began a 56% reduction in caries for children 12 -14 years of age (Dunning, 1979). In general, children showed a 20 – 40 % caries reduction over a lifetime (U.S. Health and Human Services, 1994). American Academy of Family Physicians (2006) Fluoridation of public water supplies … Continue reading

Does Water Fluoridation Affect the Pits and Fissures of the Tooth, the Area Where Most Cavities Occur?

Nine out of ten cavities occur in the grooves, or pits and fissures, of the chewing surfaces of the teeth. The greatest reduction in pit and fissure cavities occurs when fluoridated water is received continually, both before and after the teeth emerge into the mouth. A study by Groeneveld, Van Eck, and Dirks found that about 66% of the greatest reduction in pit and fissure caries came from pre-eruptive fluoride..provided that the fluoride was also consumed post-eruptively for a considerable … Continue reading

Are There Additional Benefits to Receiving Fluoride Systemically During Tooth Development?

The greatest benefit to children occurs when the child receives fluoridated water his/her entire life, from birth and continuing on – about 50% reduction in decay in the permanent teeth and about 63% reduction in the primary teeth. Children who were 8 years old when fluoridation was introduced received about a 25% reduction in decay in the permanent teeth. Study by Thylstrup (1990) This study reviewed evidence of the effects of the introduction of fluoridated water into a community. There … Continue reading

Is Water Fluoridation Safe?

The Oregon Sierra Club, in order to block fluoridation, said (2004) that the “fluoride added to virtually every water supply is an industrial waste product” and that “contaminants including arsenic, lead and mercury are unintentionally being added to our water supply.”  In 2007, they again claimed, “fluoridation chemicals contain heavy metals, such as arsenic, mercury, and lead.” The antifluoridationist group Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water (2004) claimed the fluoridation chemicals were “dirty fluoride.Very dirty fluoride.” These statements are misleading. … Continue reading

Does Water Fluoridation Cause Cancer?

Since the inception of water fluoridation, there have been unsubstantiated claims that water fluoridation causes a variety of health problems – cancer, Down Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, bone disease, kidney problems, allergic reactions, etc.  To ensure the public that these claims are false, many organization have moved, one by one, to endorse water fluoridation – the National Cancer Institute & the American Cancer Society; Down Syndrome Society; Alzheimer’s Association; American Osteopathic Association; National Kidney Foundation; Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and … Continue reading

Where Do the Fluoridation Additives Come From?

Fluoride additives used in the United States for water fluoridation (sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate, and fluorosilicic acid) are derived from apatite which is a type of limestone deposit used in the production of phosphate fertilizers. Apatite contains 3-7% fluoride and is the main source of fluoride used in water fluoridation. (1) During processing, apatite is ground up and treated with sulfuric acid, producing phosphoric acid (the main ingredient in the production of phosphate fertilizer [also utilized in soda pop]) plus … Continue reading

Are the Fluoride Additives “Waste” From the Phosphate Fertilizer Industry?

From time to time opponents of fluoridation allege that fluoridation additives are byproducts of the phosphate fertilizer industry in an effort to infer the additives are not safe.  Byproducts are simply materials produced as a result of producing something else – they are no means necessarily bad, harmful, or waste products.  In the chemical industry, a byproduct is anything other than the economically most important product produced. Byproducts may have certain characteristics which make them valuable resource. For example, in … Continue reading

What is the “Zero Waste” Concept?

For a complete explanation of the concept of using byproducts responsibly for environmental sustainability – instead of “throwing away” valuable resources – go to www.zerowaste.org

Do the Fluoride Chemicals Contain Contaminants?

The Oregon Sierra Club, in order to block the adoption of fluoridation, said (2004) that the “fluoride added to virtually every water supply is an industrial waste product” and that “contaminants including arsenic, lead and mercury are unintentionally being added to our water supply.” The antifluoridationist group Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water (2004) claimed about the fluoridation chemicals, “This is not pure fluoride, this is ‘dirty fluoride. Very dirty fluoride.’” These statements were intended to mislead.  The truth is … Continue reading

What are the Chemical Properties of Fluoride?

A chemical compound, like Sodium Fluoride (NaF) is simply a combination of Sodium and Fluorine, two common elements. Fluorine belongs to the group known as Halogens, which in the Greek means “salt-formers.” (The best-known example of a halogen compound is Sodium Chloride – common table salt.)  Fluorine is never found in a free state in nature, but is always in compound form. When dissolved in water, salt compounds dissociate into ions.  It is the fluoride ions in the drinking water that … Continue reading

What are the Different Ways of Receiving Fluoride?

Method of Fluoride Delivery Fl content Cost Pros Cons Comments Water fluoridation 0.7 parts per million (ppm) 50 cents-$3/per person/per year Safe; minute amounts of fluoride over long period of time; convenient; consumers of all ages benefit. Small vocal minority fear any additives in the drinking water. Most effective and safest method of fluoride delivery; considered closest to nature’s way. Fluoride tablets 0.5 -1.0 mg $50.00/year Safe, but was originally intended to be dissolved in water; systemic and topical benefits. … Continue reading

What is the Process of Decay?

(Demineralization and Remineralization) Every time you put refined sugar in your mouth, bacteria starts, within 30 seconds, to make acid from that sugar. If the acid concentrates on the tooth long enough, the minerals calcium and phosphorus are dissolved out of the tooth surface (demineralization). In the absence of an acid environment, minerals present in the saliva will redeposit on the tooth surface (remineralization). A hole, or cavity, occurs when more minerals dissolve out of the tooth than go back … Continue reading

How does Fluoride Interfere With the Decay Process?

Bacteria in the mouth consume sugar and excrete acid.  The acid “demineralizes” (dissolves) the tooth.  The minerals in saliva then work to remineralize (repair) the tooth.  Demineralization and remineralization happen throughout the day. If, during the remineralization process, there is a fluoride ion present, it becomes incorporated into the tooth surface along with the calcium and phosphorus. This process makes an enamel crystal that is less susceptible to being dissolved by acid. The more frequently fluoride ions are present in … Continue reading

What is Fluorosis?

Fluorosis is caused by the ingestion of a level of fluoride that is above the optimum level during the years when the teeth are developing. Fluorosis generally manifests itself as barely discernable white, opaque spots, and is an esthetic concern. Very high levels of fluoride – levels that are sometimes found in naturally fluoridated water – may produce brown or pitted enamel. Since all water contains some levels of fluoride, the EPA sets certain standards for optimum fluoride content. The … Continue reading

What is the Most Common Cause of Fluorosis?

78% of fluorosis can be attributed to children using more than the recommended “pea-size” amount of fluoride toothpaste and/or inapproriate use of fluoride supplements. Toothpastes contain high levels of fluoride (1000 – 1500 ppm). Unfortunately children often swallow toothpaste, even though toothpaste is meant specifically for topical application. Parents must be informed that children should use a “pea-size” amount, in case of incidental ingestion. Fluoride tablets are meant to be taken only by children who do not have access to … Continue reading

Is Fluoridated Water Recommended for Children Under the Age of 6?

The CDC states, “Because frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride each day will best reduce the risk for dental caries in all age groups, the work group recommends that all persons drink water with an optimal fluoride concentration and brush their teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.” The National Academy of Sciences (page 298-299) states, “The earlier that children are exposed to fluoridated drinking water or dietary fluoride supplements the greater the reduction in dental caries in both the … Continue reading

Should Infant Formula be mixed with Fluoridated Water?

First of all, it is important to recommend breastfeeding as ideal for infants. The CDC is committed to increasing breastfeeding rates throughout the United States and to promoting optimal breastfeeding practices. Both babies and mothers gain many benefits from breastfeeding. Breast milk is easy to digest and contains antibodies that can protect infants from bacterial and viral infections. More can be learned about this subject at CDC recommendations for breastfeeding. Fortunately, through concerted efforts by the Oregon Department of Human … Continue reading

Do Foods Contain High Levels of Fluoride?

At a January 13, 2007 presentation hosted by the Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, an anti-fluoridationist group, there was a display of food products again labeled with the following high fluoride contents: Gerber Berry Juice 3.00 parts per million (ppm) Gerber White Grape Juice 6.80 ppm Fruit Loops 2.10 ppm General Mills Wheaties 10.10 ppm Kellogg’s Shredded Wheat 9.40 ppm Post Grapenuts Cereal 6.40 ppm Cabbage 45.00 ppm Citrus Fruits 95.00 ppm Lettuce 180.00 ppm The following letter was written … Continue reading

Do Fruit Juices Contain High Levels of Fluoride?

The level of fluoride present in grape juice reported in the early 90’s was the result of carry over of an insecticidal agent used in organic agriculture.  At the time the juice industry was seeking to shift production to organic systems and did not realize that these organic materials would leave residue of consequence.  The use of these organic materials was banned in the mid-90s and now quality specifications for grape juice allows that no more fluoride be present than is … Continue reading

Can Fluoride be Toxic?

All substances are toxic, if the levels ingested are too high. It is well know that if a person ingests too much of the fat-soluble Vitamins A and D, they can accumulate to toxic levels in the body. Too much Iron can cause toxicity, although small amounts are necessary for health. Common table salt (Sodium Chloride), similar to Sodium Fluoride in structure, can be toxic if too much is ingested. Too much fat, too much sugar, too much caffeine – … Continue reading

Can Fluoridation Harm the Environment?

Community water fluoridation is for public water supplies.  River and streams are not fluoridated.  There are no environmental affects due to community water fluoridation. Furthermore, since the chemicals used for water fluoridation are co-products of the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers and the raw material used is a natural resource (rocks excavated for their mineral content), water fluoridation could accurately be described as environmentally friendly, as it maximizes the use made of these natural resources and reduces waste. www.Zerowaste.org

Is Fluoridation Harmful to Salmon ?

The concentration of fluoride in treated water does not reach levels that could harm any plant or animal species. A report of the effects of industrial pollution from an aluminum plant on salmon indicated that the usual fluoride concentration of the river was 0.1 mg/L and when the concentration was raised experimentally to 0.5 mg/L, there was an effect on the salmon. Rivers and streams are not fluoridated.  The increase in the fluoride concentration of a river as a result … Continue reading