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Fluoride: the Great Debate

by Katrina Bromell 06 Mar 2024
pros and cons of fluoride in water

Want to know the Pros and Cons of Fluoride in our Water?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. It has been a subject of debate for decades in terms of its addition to municipal water supplies. Proponents argue that it helps prevent tooth decay, while opponents raise concerns about potential health risks.

We are interested in this topic, because we are fans of refilling your water bottles rather than purchasing water. What do you think?


  1. Dental Health: Fluoride is known to strengthen tooth enamel which makes teeth more resistant to decay. Community water fluoridation has been credited with significantly reducing tooth decay rates, especially in children and communities with limited access to dental care. This is a good thing!

  2. Cost-Effective: Water fluoridation is a cost-effective way to improve dental health for a large population. The cost of adding fluoride to water is minimal compared to the cost of treating dental issues resulting from lack of fluoride.

  3. Public Health Impact: Fluoridated water reaches everyone in the community, regardless of age, income, or access to dental care, providing a public health benefit that reduces health disparities.

  4. Natural Occurrence: Fluoride is naturally present in water sources to varying degrees. Adding fluoride to our water supplies can restore natural levels in areas where it is lacking, which helps to prevent tooth decay.

  1. Dental Fluorosis: Excessive fluoride intake during tooth development can lead to dental fluorosis, a condition that causes white spots or streaks on teeth. While generally considered a cosmetic issue, severe fluorosis can affect tooth enamel and lead to other dental problems.

  2. Health Concerns: Some studies suggest that high fluoride intake may be linked to various health issues, including bone fractures, skeletal fluorosis, and neurological problems. It's important to note that the evidence is not conclusive, and many health organisations consider water fluoridation safe at optimal levels.

  3. Ethical Concerns: There is an argument to say that water fluoridation infringes on individual rights, as fluoride is added to water without individual choice.

  4. Environmental Impact: The process of fluoridating water can have environmental consequences, such as the release of fluoride compounds into the environment. Proper treatment and disposal methods are required to minimise these impacts.

Of course, it is always possible to use a filter to remove the fluoride from your water and refill your water bottles without the concerns of fluoride.

The debate over fluoride in water is complex, weighing the benefits of improved dental health against potential health and ethical concerns. While water fluoridation has been endorsed by many health organisations for its role in preventing tooth decay, it seems that ongoing research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects. 

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