Before we can talk about whether or not putting fluoride into your water supply, we first need to dispel the myth that fluoride is poisonous. To begin this discussion let’s start off with a quote. "All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison..." Paracelsus (1493- 1541). Anything and everything around us can be a poison.
If you sat down at your kitchen table right now and drank 5 gallons of water you may get what is called water toxicity. Water toxicity has, and still does, lead to multiple deaths each year in the United States. You can die and all you are doing is drinking water. Most of us take a daily vitamin and have no problem doing so. However, if you swallowed 6 bottles of those same daily vitamins you may not last too long.
The point here is that to declare something poisonous, or not, must include some idea of the quantity being used.
Fluoride in the wrong proportions is very deadly. However, fluoride in the right dosages, prescribed by a knowledgeable physician, and taken according the directions indicated is completely safe and indeed has a great number of benefits.
The American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control have both concluded that fluoride is safe and effective if taken in the proper doses. These studies are backed up by years and years of experimentation and data gathering.
Now that we have determined that fluoride is safe we now turn our attention to the question of whether or not I feel that it should be placed into the drinking water. And the answer may surprise you, because I do NOT feel that placing fluoride into everyone’s drinking water is the right thing to do.
I feel that drinking water should be left without any additives. Certain things may be added to purify the water, of course, but after that I don’t feel that anything additional should be placed into it, even if it’s for health benefits.
The problem here is the opening of the Pandora’s box. A group of people may think that placing a certain additive into the water supply is an okay thing to do. So they get enough signatures from the community and so it goes into effect. You have then however, set a precedent. And from that moment forward anyone gaining enough signatures can also add things to the water. If another group wants to add calcium then that will go in. If another group wants to add vitamin B, then that goes in as well. Before long you have a chemical concoction flowing from your faucet whether you want it or not. To add one thing to the mix opens the door for others to be added later on.
And there is one more problem with adding fluoride to the water. How much do you need, and how much are you getting? Different people need different amounts of fluoride. The young need more than the old. The medications, genetics, and certain diseases may also require different amounts of fluoride.
So if my 3 year old needs less than my 8 year old, do I stop my 3 year old from drinking as much? Being that I have 5 kids to I need to keep a log of how many glasses each of them drinks every day? What if my wife is a fitness nut and drinks a gallon a day? Is that detrimental to her? Does fluoride get pulled out by my home filtration system? Does it cook out of the water I use for cooking? The list could go on and on and is too complex to even think about.
The simple answer to both of these problems is to supplement your fluoride under the watchful eye of your health care provider. He/Her will evaluate your overall health, medications, disease states, age, genetic back ground, etc etc etc. And then give you the proper dose. If you then take that dose on the regularly scheduled intervals you should be just fine.
Fluoride is very very safe. And I strongly recommend that people supplement their diets with it, unless they are getting it naturally. But I am not for the idea that it should just be automatically added to everyone’s water supply.
Dr. Jim Ellis, DDS
1220 33rd Street Suite C
Ogden, UT 84403