Water fluoridation has long been a source of controversy, especially since a number of people have claimed that fluoride in water has ill side effects. While not everyone is amenable to fluoridation, an article in the Republican Herald on February 19, 2014 reveals that much of the country seems okay with the treatment. The article provides details regarding the debate on fluoride-treated water:
“Advocates say fluoride in the water system can prevent tooth decay. Opponents say it isn’t needed and can do more harm than good.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “almost all water contains some naturally occurring fluoride at levels too low to prevent tooth decay.”
Adding fluoride to the water supply is “safe and effective,” according to the organization.
About 74 percent of the U.S. population has access to fluoridated water, according to the CDC.
In Pennsylvania, 54 percent of residents receive fluoridated water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is charged with setting enforceable maximum levels for fluoride, though states can set tougher limits. The maximum level is 4 parts per million. A secondary, nonenforceable level of 2 parts per million, which seeks to prevent cosmetic changes such as those to teeth, has also been established by the EPA.
To prevent tooth decay, the optimal level of fluoride added to the water supply should be at 0.7 milligrams per liter, as proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services.”
If the article is anything to go by, a good number of Pennsylvania households (and Americans, in general) have access to fluoridated water. While fluoride, in controlled amounts, can prevent tooth decay in individuals, its consumption won’t guarantee full protection from severe decay. Patients will still need a skilled dentist from Wilkes Barre for proper treatment.
Tooth decay is largely preventable if patients manage to brush and floss regularly to prevent tooth-destroying bacteria from feeding off food particles. However, failing to maintain teeth cleanliness can aggravate tooth decay, which can lead to serious periodontal diseases and acute tooth ache. Fortunately, teeth already ravaged by decay can still be repaired by a capable dentist in Wilkes-Barre, PA, like Dr. James C. DeFinnis of Back Mountain Dental.