The government is lowering the recommended amount of fluoride added to drinking water for the first time in more than 50 years.
Some people are getting too much fluoride because it is also now put in toothpaste, mouthwash and other products, health officials said Monday in announcing the change.
Too much fluoride has become a common cause of white splotches on teeth in children. One study found about two out of five adolescents had tooth streaking or spottiness.
Fluoride is a mineral in water and soil. About 70 years ago, scientists discovered that people whose drinking water naturally had more fluoride also had fewer cavities.As we have seen recently with salt and cholesterol, the government is slowly coming to grips with fact that many of it's health mandates were made in haste, at the behest of true believers and were stronger than warranted. Of itself, this one isn't a big change.
Since 1962, the government has been advising water systems to add fluoride to a level of 0.7 parts per million for warmer climates, where people drink more water, to 1.2 parts per million in cooler areas. The new standard is 0.7 everywhere.
Grand Rapid, Michigan, became the world’s first city to add fluoride to its drinking water in 1945. Six years later, a study found a dramatic decline in tooth decay among children there, and the US surgeon general endorsed water fluoridation.
Our local water supply has low fluoride, and the local water supplier is not permitted by law to add it (fluoride can be a deadly toxin at high concentration, and mistakes could matter), so local parents are encouraged to get fluoride supplements for children.
I wish they had fluoridation when I was a kid in Culver City. Maybe I wouldn't have the mouth full of metal I currently have.