Fluoridation of water is the process of adjusting the concentration of fluoride ion in fluoride-deficient water supplies to a level of about 1 ppm. Groups of children drinking fluoridated water have only about one-third as much dental caries as otherwise comparable groups receiving water deficient in flouride. These benefits should carry over into adult life, on the basis of evidence from communities in which the fluoride ion is found naturally in the water supply.
Water fluoridation is universally accepted among reputable professional groups. Extensive American studies, made in areas with fluoridated water or with natural fluoride-bearing water having the same content of fluoride, have disclosed no harmful systemic effects to any individuals or groups in the population. No disfiguring dental fluorosis has been encountered among individuals drinking such water. On the contrary, the prevalence of nonspecific enamel hypoplasias has been reduced in such groups.
No well-documented evidence or valid arguments have been presented by the vociferous groups opposed to fluoridation of water. Much confusion has been engendered by the failure of these groups to differentiate between the trace quantities of fluoride used in fluoridation and the vastly greater toxic quantities encountered in some mining and industrial operations and in laboratory investigations.
- Copyright © 1957 by the American Academy of Pediatrics