Before we can answer this widely contested issue, we must first get a few things out of the way.
First. What exactly is "fluoridation?"
Water fluoridation is simply the controlled addition of the chemical fluoride to a public drinking water system.
The express purpose of adding fluoride to drinking water is to remineralize teeth and reduce the prevalence of cavities.
When did fluoridation begin?
1945. During that year Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first community in the world to begin adding fluoride to their public drinking water system. After studies showed a decrease in the amount of cavities of local school children the phenomenon took off. Soon every city in the United States was practicing water fluoridation.
So it decreased cavities? So it's a good thing then, right?
Not quite. In 2015, the Cochran Collaboration--a global network of researchers and health professionals known for rigorous scientific reviews of public health policies-- published an analysis of 20 key studies on water fluoridation. They found that while water fluoridation is effective at reducing tooth decay among children, “no studies that aimed to determine the effectiveness of water fluoridation for preventing caries [cavities] in adults met the review’s inclusion criteria.” *
The study also reported that most scientific studies on water fluoridation (before 1975) we're often deeply flawed.
In addition, it has been shown that most European countries have experienced substantial declines in tooth decay without its use.
What's happens if you get too much fluoride?
Fluoride can be very dangerous at high levels. Excessive amounts can cause fluorosis, or changes in tooth enamel ranging from white spotting to pitting. Fluoride can also become concentrated in bone--stimulating bone growth, altering structure, and even weakening the skeleton.
More concerning is new research that suggests high levels of fluoride can affect brain and nerve cells. Studies have possible links to learning, memory, and cognition impairments.
Ok. So what's the bottom line?
We can't tell you how to think. We can only provide you with some rock solid science on the matter. The choice to believe in fluoridation or not is all yours.
At Aquagear we want to empower your decision. If you decide that you don't want fluoride in your tap water, then we've got your back. Our filter pitchers are lab tested remove 90% of fluoride concentrations in your water.
Cochran Study cited: http://www.cochrane.org/CD010856/ORAL_water-fluoridation-prevent-tooth-decay
Harvard Public Health article cited: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine/magazine_article/fluoridated-drinking-water/