General Question

Rarebear's avatar

How do you feel about the government putting fluoride in your drinking water?

Asked by Rarebear (25159points) March 29th, 2017

As asked.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

81 Answers

chyna's avatar

How do you feel from a doctor stand point?

gorillapaws's avatar

I don’t have a problem with it. Although we use an under-sink filter system that I believe removes it from our drinking water, so we unfortunately don’t get the benefits for our teeth (although we do get the benefit of our water not tasting like crap from all of the junk in our city’s old plumbing).

Zaku's avatar

Sounds like an issue that deserves serious impartial investigation. Too bad the FDA is corrupted by corporate influence and who knows what else.

I am looking forward to moving where they don’t do that. Meanwhile I have been mostly not drinking tap water without heavy filtering.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

My teeth and my children’s’ teeth are very grateful.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I’ve been drinking it most my life. I’m still here and have all but one of my teeth. Liver, kidneys are fine.

You’re the doctor. I’m more interested in what you think about it.

ragingloli's avatar

They do not do that here.

ucme's avatar

Nor here & besides, who wants to drink stripey water?

Sneki95's avatar

I’ve seen worse in my water than fluoride. At least that thing doesn’t gather at the bottom of the bottle…..nor swims.. .....

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I wonder how my skin reacts when I shower. Maybe they should segregate drinking water from washing water.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hear hear! What do you think @Rarebear? Is there any evidence that the trace amounts of fluorine are harmful?

Having said that, I don’t think the fluorine in the water does all that much for your teeth, if you don’t take care of them otherwise. I know people who have been drinking fluoridated water all of their lives, but never brushed their teeth, or only rarely brushed and they’re losing teeth left and right now, starting in their 40’s.

chyna's avatar

^Their breath must stink so bad that no one wants near them!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. My ex boss was that way. I couldn’t bear to sit within 10 feet of her. She had a habit of coming up over your shoulder and “explain” stuff. I liked to have pass out.

Rarebear's avatar

I’m withholding my opinion until I see enough responses.

flutherother's avatar

There is no fluoride in the water here and I wouldn’t want it added. I think we have a right to clean unadulterated water and those who do want fluoride can get it in other ways.

Mariah's avatar

I’ve got no problem with it, but I haven’t really read up on the topic. I don’t know if there are any health risks, or if the benefits to dental health are really significant. I’d be curious if you had input on that, @Rarebear, once you get the responses you’re after.

The only time it came to my attention was when I had a venus fly trap and I read that I couldn’t water it with fluoridated water. The city I lived in at the time didn’t fluoridate their water though. It doesn’t seem to harm my aquarium fish, and they’re very sensitive to other impurities in water.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I’m against it. Its easier to add your own fluoride after it gets to your tap. It reminds me of the move Idiocracy where Gatorade was added to all water, and killed all of the plants.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I’m against it. I have a wonderful showerhead which filters out chlorine and minerals, and I suppose flourine too.
The water doesn’t smell like swimming pool, and I come out of the shower not feeling crusty.
When my daughter was a baby I told her pediatrician I had a water filter, and she prescribed flouride drops.

Response moderated
Dutchess_III's avatar

I did some spot research on this. Turns out in 1909 a doctor noticed that 87% of the children from the Pike’s Peak area had some type of discoloration and mottling on their teeth. In worst case scenerious the teeth were pitted and brown and nasty. They were awful to look at, but the doc also noticed they had a very strong resistance to tooth decay.
The problem was cause by too much natural fluoride leaking into the water supply. It affected developing enamel.

So they hit on a happy medium. Just enough fluoride to help prevent cavities, but not so much that it affected the color and appearance of the teeth.
It looks like fluoridation affects developing teeth far more than it affects fully developed teeth.

It also explains why my kids have a few mild white patches on their teeth. It’s not unattractive, I just noticed it and wondered why. Now I know.

Rarebear's avatar

Okay, here is my opinion.

It is absolutely asinine not to have fluoride in the water. Oral health is a HUGE problem in lower socioeconomic areas and is a big problem with health care disparities. I found that people who are opposed to fluoride are white, richer, and don’t have a clue as to how bad oral health is in people who are different color than they are.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Isn’t this a dead issue?

When I was growing up in the 1960s, there was a big to-do about this, and the pro-flouride side won the day. So we had flouride in the Lake Erie water from about the time I was 7 or 8.

At one point it was seen as a communist plot, I remember.

Anyway, as far as I am concerned, it’s no big deal. A fact of life,

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

What is the difference between naturally present flouride and whst are the relative effective concentrations. Large concentrations are known to be toxic. Is it feasable that people can get too much through the water supply. Are there any studies that show that it is any more helpful than simply using flouridated toothpaste? From what little I know there are other flouride like compounds that are included because it’s an industrial waste compound. Are those harmful or inert? I use baking soda to brush and don’t get cavities. My water filter also filters arsenic (which also filters flouride) so I don’t get that much. My wife has had flouridated water her whole life and has what appears to be dental flourosis. I have no idea if that is bad or just cosmetic. I’m on the fence because there is so much bullshit and conspiracy nonsense regarding it.

Rarebear's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me I do not understand your question.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I was typing and hit enter by accident, see above complete post. I have some questions about it that I have not looked into too deeply do I need a real expert opinion and not a casual one to make my mind up. I’m not even slightly concerned with it causing my pineal gland to harden or gov’t conspiracies lol.

Patty_Melt's avatar

So, what was the point behind the question?
I filter my water, and I don’t intend to stop.
My daughter has gotten all the flouride she needs.
I would point out that a significant number of US residents use their own water supply. Maybe the government should spend money to ensure everyone has water, free of lead.
I can think of lots of issues concerning water which affects more people than flouride.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Go look here I explained what I had found. From what I could tell the fluoride affects the teeth as the enamel is forming, and still protected by the gums. You can’t brush fluoride on. Tell me if I’m wrong @Rarebear, but it mainly benefits developing teeth, right? After they’re exposed, then you can take care of them by brushing.

Too much fluoride ingestion adversely affects developing teeth in cosmetic ways. Again, my comment above goes into that.

@Rearbear likes to ask questions to get us to start a dialogue and Learn Stuff @Patty_Melt. You don’t see the benefits of fluoride because you don’t know a time you didn’t have the benefit. It’s kind of like, “Well, hardly anyone gets measles any more so lets just stop the vaccination.”
If people use well water, I would hope their doctor would suggest fluorine drops for any pregnant women in the house, as well as young children.

If anyone here uses well water, now you know to mention it to your doc, especially if you’re pregnant or have smal children.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Who knows what endocrine disrupter means?
Does anybody here have concerns with diabetes?

canidmajor's avatar

Curious as well about the intent of the Q, like @Patty_Melt.
To answer, not something I’ve thought about much, I drink most of my water filtered, for other reasons.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@Dutchess_III, you assume a lot. I had access only to well water until I was twelve, well beyond the recommended top age of eight.
I would encourage you to look up what flouride does to the rest of the body. I would glady provide links, but my phone can’t.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Also, you have the application benefits backwards. Teeth benefit from topical application, and little if any from ingestion.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Dutchess_III my dentist would disagree. He would tell you it indeed can be brushed on and it does benefit adult teeth. I agree there but I’m unsure if drinking it has any real effect positive or negative.

Patty_Melt's avatar

At best, it is claimed flouride only benefits children up to eight years of age.
At worst, using flouridated water to mix infant formula is very hazardous, and is suspect regarding numerous health concerns in adults.
A significant number of teens show signs of too much flouride.
If we are going to add something to the water supply a vast majority does not need, and may suffer ill effects from, simply to “aid the poor”, why don’t we also put birth control medication in the water, so them poor folks won’t keep having babies they can’t afford?
Seriously, the healthiest water I ever drank was from our well.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It does benefit adult teeth. @ARE_you_kidding_me. What I’m saying is that floridated water is most beneficial to developing teeth, which are below the gum line. Also benefical for the mother to have some floride for the same reason, the unborn baby’s developing teeth. <<< To answer your same comment @Patty_Melt. I’ll get some links for you..but you have to promise to read them, not just pick and choose what you want to jump on.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I never understood the controversy. I’m mildly indifferent to fluoridation, but I lean toward the proven benefits outweighing the alleged negatives.

Rarebear's avatar

I asked the question because I was curious who the anti-science crazy conspiracy theorists were and what kinds of logical fallacies they would resort to. Now I know.

Dutchess_III's avatar

1

Excessive levels of fluoride can produce dental fluorosis. Skeletal fluorosis can be caused by excess fluoride; this can cause damage to bones and joints
Key word here is “excessive.”

From this
For optimal dental health…. recommends a level of fluoride from 0.5 to 1.0 milligrams/L (milligrams per litre)

The lethal dose for most adult humans is estimated at 5 to 10 grams. That’s 5000 to 10,000 milligrams.

Also, having well water doesn’t mean you don’t have fluoride in your water as it’s the 13th most common element in the world. I imagine when your folks had the water tested, that’s one of the things they tested for.

Anything in excess can severely hurt you. Anything. You can die from drinking too much water.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I have access to information, I just can’t post the links. As for being selective, I think you have proven yourself there. I DO know the difference between ingested and topical, and topical is the proven method.
I also know that NOBODY claims health benefits of ANY kind for adults.
I know what I read, and it is more extensive than what you have commented.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The map
For high flouride levels shows specific areas. I doubt that it gets tested in areas where concentrations are known to be low. I don’t think harmfull amounts are that high if a toddler eats a tube of toothpaste you’re supposed to call poison control. Same goes for the alcohol in mouthwash though.

kritiper's avatar

All for it. My grandmother grew up in a place where there was high natural fluoride in the water. When she died at age 97, she had all of her teeth and not one cavity!

ucme's avatar

If other countries follow suit it could be construed as copy & paste

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Patty_Melt, How can “topical” be the proven method for babies in the uterus? How can they be the proven method for infants whose teeth haven’t erupted?

I posted links for you, @Patty_Melt, that back up your claims that excessive ingestion of fluoride can be harmful, even lethal. I understand that you can’t post links, but can you open them and read them?

Patty_Melt's avatar

I would urge you to see what Dr. Paul Connett and Dr. Arvid Carlsson have to say on the subject.
I am not the one being selective here. I have read numerous claims down through the years.
Babies in the uterus, geez, I will let you read up on this some more.
By the way, I would urge you to check the credentials of the above named doctors.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Human tooth development.

Primary (baby) teeth start to form between the sixth and eighth week of prenatal development, and permanent teeth begin to form in the twentieth week. Yeah. Babies in the uterus, geez.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I didn’t say fetuses can’t benefit from a little flouride. I said you are underinformed on how beneficial flouridated public water is.
Look up those highly respected doctors I mention above. Maybe then you will get it.
I am not being unscientific by any definition. I have simply checked more sources than you, and they are not hacks, you can be sure.

Rarebear's avatar

Arvid Carlsson won the nobel prize for the discovery of dopamine which has absolutely nothing to do with fluoride.

Remember Linus Pauling won the Nobel also and he was a quack with his vitamin C bullshit.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Dr. Carlsson did receive a nobel prize, and it had nothing to do with flouride, but dopamine is not all he knows.
“Quack” doesn’t sound very scientific to me. That sounds like opinion, an opinion not shared by many others.

flutherother's avatar

@Rarebear So you’re saying some people of colour have very bad teeth and I’m a racist if I oppose fluoridation of their water to correct it? Don’t they have any say in the matter?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Floridation can’t correct anything, @flutherother. It can only help prevent it.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Suppose they add aspirin to the water to reduce headaches in the workplace.
Aspirin is dangerous for me, and many others.
Would any of you object to “complimentary” aspirin in all water sources?

flutherother's avatar

@Dutchess III I maybe didn’t phrase it very well but I think you know what I mean.

Rarebear's avatar

You said it, I didn’t.

Patty_Melt's avatar

For those few who care, I just learned that interviews with Dr. Connett can be found on youtube.
I believe he makes a very strong case. He is not alone in the anti fluoride pursuits, but he is the most outspoken, and he has several years of study on the subject.

Thinking too much fluoride can’t hurt you is irresponsible blind faith.

Rarebear's avatar

Yes. Youtube is a valid scientific source of information. Thank you.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Uhhh yes, sometimes it is. It depends on what you are looking for.
On youtube, people can watch open heart surgery.
It isn’t all Justin Bieber, and silly hamsters.

Rarebear's avatar

Yes. As I said I go to Youtube for all my medical information.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Now you are just being snarky. I certainly didn’t indicate any such thing. I am giving examples (plural) where information can be found. Youtube does indeed have some very informative videos. I mentioned it as an alternative for those who don’t want all their information from reading, not as a sole source of information.
For entertaining health videos, look on youtube for draining a spider bite. It is probably right up the alley for someone who wants their water pharmaceutically altered.

Rarebear's avatar

Now, you just figured out I’m being snarky?

I bet you’ve actually never drained a spider bite. I have, professionally, and it’s nothing to joke about.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I have. Yes, I did my own, and it healed nicely. It was pretty ew.

Rarebear's avatar

@Patty_Melt My advice is next time let a professional do it. If you don’t get it all out it can cause a cellulitis and get worse.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Patty_Melt who among us said too much fluoride can’t hurt you? I’ve already posted links just for you since, for some reason you can’t, that shows that too much fluoride can cause many problems, including death.
The fluoride in the tap water is about 0.5 to 1.0 milligrams per liter. Lethal doses are 1000 to 5000 milligrams per liter. Other issues are caused by lower doses than that, but still astronomically higher than what is in our drinking water.
It has been proven that traces of fluoride does help prevent cavities, and that is especially important in low income areas where dental health and understanding are not high priorities.

Again, we’re talking about excess. Drinking excessive amounts of plain water can kill you too.

Also, you say your pediatrician gave you fluoride drops for your baby. And? Has she developed any critical illness as a result?

Rarebear's avatar

We used fluoride drops also. Our house has a soft water and reverse osmosis filtration system that gets rid of everything, including fluoride (because our tap water tastes horrible but is good for beer). We had to do fluoride supplementation.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@Dutchess_III, I know you are feeling quite smug, thinking you“caught” me. I never said flouride was universally bad. I said it is far from universally beneficial, and public water sources should not be the means of dispensing it. At best, it is useless for most of us. At worst it is toxic for many of us, and hastens death for most of us.
It has effects throughout the body which are harmful. Over longterm intake, it builds up in the system, thereby increasing risks.
Suppliments should be used for those who need some, not forced on society as a whole.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I’ve said as much as I care to here.
I know what I know, and no evidence to debate with has been presented to me, so I won’t be back here.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Correction: Lethal doses are 1000 to 10,000 (not 5000) milligrams per liter. As an American I wrestle with the metric system.

At worst, it is toxic if it is at toxic levels. Tomatoes are toxic at toxic levels (they’re in the night shade family.) Water is toxic at toxic levels.

Rarebear's avatar

I’ve seen death from water intoxication. I’ve never seen death from fluoride intoxication.

cazzie's avatar

I support fluoridation in water. There is nothing but quackery and paranoid conspiracy delusions in the non-fluoridation camp. I’ll take science and empirical evidence, thanks.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
flutherother's avatar

There isn’t necessarily anything anti science in opposing mass medication. All science can do is give us facts which can help us come to a conclusion. Science doesn’t tell us we should add fluoride to the water supply, it leaves that to our own judgement.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Eh, there is a large group of conspiracy folks who are wrapped up in the flouride debate. Same ones who are anti-vaccine basically. That’s not to say there are not issues with flouridation but there are people who will find something sinister lurking behind every corner. I would not call that anti-science just gullible or a touch of paranoia. If you look at anything with more than a trusting surface scan you will usually find a little bullshit. No need to blow it up into a huge conspiracy or make it an unwarranted catastrophic issue, bullshit is just everywhere. Finding a little does not usually mean there are tons more of it. People probably could not sleep at night if they did not buy into some of it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My 21 year old grandson posted a video that I didn’t listen to. There were subtitles about how fluoride was used in bombs in WWII, or something. I said, “So what? Tomatoes are members of the nightshade family. Nightshade is a deadly poison.” He loves tomatoes. I was really disappointed with him and that post.

My favorites are the microscopic pictures of our food. “THIS is what McDonald’s chicken nuggets REALLY look like! Disgusting!” Well, that’s what chicken looks like when its magnified a billion times.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m late to this party and did not read the answers.
I think fluoride is a good idea. I have lived in communities with and without fluoride. The residents in the community without fluoride had terrible teeth. About thirty years ago, of my children’s classmates, you could guess with very high confidence which kids grew up with town water (fluoride) and which had well water. Now most toothpastes have fluoride in it so maybe that is enough.
Young adults’ teeth sure look goog nowadays.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I thinking getting them whitened is all the rage too, @LuckyGuy, so yeah. They look mahvalous, Dahling.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther