Conspiracy theories have been around for as long as people can remember. From aliens to world domination, there’s always something on the internet that’s got people talking. One of the most persistent and controversial theories is the inclusion of fluoride in the water supply. One side claims it’s a government conspiracy to control the population, while the other insists treatment plants are adding it to improve dental health. But what’s the truth behind this debate? Let’s find out.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. For over 70 years, the US government has been adding fluoride to public water supplies, in order to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Fluoridation of water has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century, responsible for significantly decreasing the incidence of tooth decay in both children and adults.
Adding fluoride to the water supply has been successful in reducing dental cavities and decay. Decades of research and countless studies have shown that fluoride in water is safe and provides dental benefits.
The Conspiracy Behind Fluoride in Water
Those who subscribe to the fluoride in water conspiracy theory say its addition to tap water is an attempt by the government to control and manipulate the population. According to these theories, the inclusion of fluoride in water is a form of mind control and is linked to a range of health concerns such as low IQ, cancer, thyroid disease, Alzheimer’s, and even infertility.
However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. The majority of studies conducted on fluoride have documented its safety in the recommended dosage. In fact, it is beneficial for dental health to have this mineral in the water.
The Case Against Fluoride
Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence, there are still some who oppose fluoridation of water, claiming that it is not good for our health. Some argue that exposure to too much fluoride can actually cause tooth discoloration, weakened bones, arthritis, and cancer.
While it is true that overexposure to fluoride can cause problems, it is almost impossible to consume enough fluoride from water to cause health concerns. The recommended level of water fluoridation, set by the US Department of Health and Human Services, is between 0.7 and 1.2 mg/L. This range is based upon studies of communities consuming higher levels of fluoride for decades without adverse health effects.
The Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride in water can significantly help to reduce the incidence of tooth decay in children and adults, particularly those living in areas with poor oral health and limited access to dental care. It strengthens tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acid from bacteria, and can even reverse early signs of decay.
In children, the benefits of fluoride intake in the prevention of tooth decay is most significant. According to the Children’s Dental Health Project, about 99% of the fluoride in the body is stored in the bones and teeth. This fluoride is incorporated into the mineral crystal that is the main component of the hard outer layer of the teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to acid attacks.
Fluoride intake from the water supply also has a significant impact on families with low incomes who may not be able to afford regular dental visits. Adding fluoride to the drinking water can reduce the long term costs associated with frequent dental treatment.
The Bottom Line
The debate over fluoride in water is a controversial topic and has been for many years. While it’s true that fluoride is beneficial to our dental health, overexposure can lead to negative health effects. However, the amount of fluoride added to water is precisely and rigorously controlled by the authorities to ensure that the public is safe and derives only benefits. Studies and research suggest that fluoride is both safe and beneficial when used as directed.
1. “Community Water Fluoridation: The Science Behind Fluoride.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Feb. 2021.
2. “Fluorides.” World Health Organization, 28 Mar. 2021.