For the first time in 50 years, the Fluoride levels in drinking water have been lowered in the US. Studies have pointed out that a higher intake of fluoride may cause splotches on teeth. These are small spots, where the texture of the tooth becomes slightly more transparent.
The lowering of the required level of fluoride nationwide has come as a result of more and more people presenting at the dentist’s office with such splotches on their teeth. This lead to an analysis of the situation that concluded that there is an excess of fluoride intake in the US .
The substance is found in the required amounts in the drinking water alone. When fluoride intake is supplemented by the use of toothpaste and mouthwash, it turns out that it leads to an excessive use.
While Deputy Surgeon General, Boris Lushniak, points out that splotchy teeth are more of a cosmetic issue than a medical one, it is a much safer course of action to lower the amount in drinking water to a minimum.
The advice given out by the CDC was that the fluoride intake in young children should be limited. This is done by not using toothpaste for children under the age of 2, unless recommended by a dentist and by using only the required pea-sized amount of toothpaste for children between 2 and 6. Also, all mouthwash containing fluoride should be avoided for children under 6.
In 1962, the government has set recommended levels of fluoride in drinking water at 0.7 milligrams per liter for warmer climates, where people have been proven to drink more water and up to 1.2 milligrams in areas with cooler climates.
The present change comes by setting the required levels at 0.7 nationwide. Dr. Lushniak explains that adding the substance in the drinking water remains the best way to distribute it to the general population to present day and that the overall intake can be controlled from there on.
Before there was mandated fluoridation of water, the prevalence of tooth decay was exponentially higher. Grand Rapid, Michigan, was the first city in the world with fluoridated water. After only six years, tooth decay dropped so significantly, that the Deputy Surgeon General started endorsing this measure.
Studies are constantly being done on the matter of fluoride intake, but seems to be the most important course of action is to keep fluoride intake within the required limits. While excessive amounts may lead to consequences ranging from facilitated formation of cavities to simple splotches on the teeth, history shows that the lack of fluoride definitely leads to tooth decay.
To sum up, the government is taking a stand on the excessive intake of fluoride observed in the last few years, due to the substance being found in both drinking water and tooth care products. It is so that the fluoride levels in drinking water have been lowered in the US, to a nationwide amount of 0.7 milligrams per liter of water.
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