Fluoride in Drinking Water: Good? Bad?

Apparently there’s a grass-roots movement in my old home town to stop the practice of adding fluoride to the drinking water. It sounds like the people behind it are a bunch of nut-jobs though, of the anti-vaccination type.

So, fluoride has been traditionally added to municipal water supplies to help minimize tooth decay. Surely this can’t be the only reason. I don’t see why municipalities would go out of their way to add cost to the water supply just so the dental health of the community would improve. Surely there must be other reasons: sanitizer?

There are a lot of conflicting messages out there regarding the pros and cons thereof. What do the learned professionals (and others) on here know about this debate?

Yes, the reason fluoride has been added to water is to prevent tooth decay. Bad teeth are a major health problem and, as has been discussed in a number of recent SDMB threads, can lead to other serious problems.

Here’s Cecil’s take on the issue.

Yes, that’s the only reason. But it is a big deal.

It’s not expensive, and the people who vote on it think the small cost is worth it.

Why yes, obviously.
You know when fluoridation began ? 1946. Nineteen fourty six, Leaffan. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works.

(what ? Someone had to say it.)

Nah. I wasn’t suggesting any conspiracy theory existed at all. What I meant was that it may have been possible that dental health was an added benefit of fluoridation, but that there may have been another reason municipalities did it, perhaps for sanitation or something.

Anyway, my initial post stated that the people against this were apparent nut-jobs. But I can’t seem to find out why specifically they are against fluoridation. They just sound like a bunch of misguided health freaks of the anti-vaccination ilk.

Fluoride can poison you in large doses, but what supposed risks are these wackos proposing at the normal PPM levels in water? Kidney failure? Cancer?

You’re talking about a group of very paranoid people. I don’t know what they think the side effects of fluoridation are, but this is a group that sees evil intent in everything and is very mistrustful of anyone who claims to know more than they themselves do, particularly doctors, scientists, and government officials.

Leaffan, you’re obviously not familiar with what Kobal2 was alluding to. You need to watch this:

Without looking at any of their web sites I’d hazard that they find the fact that a chemical is being placed into natural water abhorrent.

Quick look for costs found this CDC document with the following statement “Health economists at the 1989 workshop on cost-effectiveness of caries prevention calculated that the average annual cost of water fluoridation in the United States was $0.51 per person (range: $0.12–$5.41) (260). In 1999 dollars,** this cost would be $0.72 per person (range: $0.17–$7.62).”

Can’t see at work. I’ll look later. Thanks. (I think?)

Yeah, I think I heard from the same source that when our precious bodily fluids are made less pure, it can affect us during the physical act of love. You’ll feel a profound sense of fatigue… a feeling of emptiness will follow.

I think the much bigger worry is the dihydrogen monoxide.

Yep. That’s nasty stuff. Unfortunately we have a lot of it just laying around up here in Canada. :wink:

So Leaffan, armed with the correct knowledge, are you going to counter the nut-job grass-roots movement? I mean this is something you could really sink your teeth into and fight?. You do realize that if you do take them on, it will be a real tooth and nail battle? Are you strong enough to counter their absurd arguments with, “Bite me!”?

There are several reasons that people become virulent anti-fluoridationists.

  1. It’s “unnatural”.
  2. It represents messing with (there’s no other way to say it) our precious bodily fluids.
  3. Big Government is telling us what to do.
  4. We’re effing insane.

There is a lot of carryover between antifluoridationists, antivaccinationists, and people who think aspartame and soy products are deadly. It’s a fearful little world they inhabit.

Here’s some information on typical tactics used by these folks.

Here’s hoping your local nutbars don’t get their way.

Is there any overlap with militant vegetarianism? I ask, because I had a vegetarian girlfriend who also bought into all the anti-fluoride paranoia. She even bought fluoride-free “natural” toothpaste.

One of my closest friends when I lived in western Maryland is a dental hygienist; she swears she can tell, by looking at a first-time patient’s teeth, whether they grew up with fluoridated water or not, and the ones that did are so much better off than the ones who didn’t!

Where I grew up, most people had well water. It showed.

The dentists did good business, though.

Bad…definitely bad. Two points that haven’t been raised, afaik. First off, if god wanted us to have good teeth, he wouldn’t have made them rot so easily. Secondly, lizards LOVE fluoride. Think about it…and after you do, call your local politician and make your views know. Say NO! to fluoride…


You didn’t mention people who think WiFi radiation is harmful. The world is full of nuts.

WIFI radiation IS harmful…that’s why it’s called ‘radiation’. The reason people don’t know about how harmful it is has to do with the fact that the government uses WIFI as part of their national mind control system. Sort of the same way they use chem-trails and trick people into just thinking they are some kind of natural condensation due to flying at high altitude. Yeah…right. :dubious: