Fluoride was introduced into Australian water supplies in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but there are still some concerns regarding the possible health risks of fluoride ingestion, especially given that 90% of Australians are consuming it! So, what is fluoride and – more importantly – is fluoride safe?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in all water supplies that has been found to help prevent tooth decay. Due to this discovery, communities underwent water fluoridation where the naturally occurring fluoride in water supplies were topped up in order to help fight tooth decay. The practice of water fluoridation spread rapidly when it became clear that communities with higher levels of fluoride in their water enjoyed stronger teeth. In fact, studies conducted in 2012 by Australian researchers concluded that water fluoridation led to significant reductions in tooth decay worldwide!
Nonetheless, there are still some community concerns regarding the fluoride that is commonly found in drinking water and dental care products. Whereas the benefits of fluoride have been scientifically proven time and time again, concerns about the potential health hazards of fluoride have not been backed by any field experts or research. In fact, organisations such as the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Australian Consumers Association (CHOICE) all herald fluoride as an effective means of maintaining your health. The World Health Organization (WHO) went as far to declare that “universal access to fluoride for dental health is a part of the basic human right to life.”
With very little evidence supporting the claim that fluoride is a health hazard, and solid scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of fluoride in maintaining oral health, it’s safe to say that it is not only safe to use but also a recommended part of your oral care routine. In fact, it is already a natural ingredient in the water you drink and the oral care products you use daily!
Simply put, you needn’t worry about fluoride. It is safe, and is only helping to fight the war on tooth decay, and you may not even know it.