27 September 2012
CHM 4070 Historical Perspectives
Paper 1- Group 2
Fluorides: A Benefit to Teeth Health
Fluoridating water is a highly debated topic in almost every county in the United States. Since 1945, fluoride has been added to city tap water for the benefit of dental health. Studies show that this addition to drinking water decreases the chances of dental cavities and provides this health service for lower income people who may not otherwise be able to afford and maintain their dental health. Many states require that the tap water in every county must be checked and maintained daily. Even though all these benefits are present with full support and endorsement from dental doctors and health professionals, some counties are still uncertain about fluoridating water. They believe that since fluoride is toxic to the human body in large doses, the substance is not safe in any amount for human consumption. Although some counties have successfully banned fluoride from their tap water, their reasons for doing so are unfounded and a detriment to their people's health. Safety and longevity is everyone's goal, therefore, fluoride in tap water is beneficial to every person's health. Teeth health is very important to the well-being of humans. When the health of teeth fails, problems ensue in the rest of the body. Pain, heart and respiratory problems, and osteoporosis are some of the problems endured due to improper maintenance of teeth. Studies from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that “dental carries remain a major public health problem in most industrialized countries, affecting 60-90% of school children and vast majorities of adults” (Peterson, 319). Since so many people are affected by dental carries, many people are also susceptible to the more severe health defects that tooth decay contributes to. The WHO also stresses that the community if responsible for educating themselves and others about the importance of limiting sugar consumption and the health benefits of fluorides (Peterson, 320). To alleviate and help prevent a substantial percent of communities from these disorders, fluoride is put into drinking water. The idea behind this decision is that fluoride helps protect tooth enamel and even goes as far as to restore the tooth enamel that has been lost. Tooth paste containing fluoride is recommended by dentists and supported by health professionals for its ability to maintain healthy teeth. Many dentists know the possible detriments that bad teeth can cause a person; therefore, in recent years, “the [Centers for Disease Control] proclaimed community water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century,” eluding to the fact that fluoride in drinking water is no mistake (Crozier). Studies by the University of York Centre in the UK reveal that fluoridating water has reduced dental carries by 15% (Peterson, 320). With the addition of fluoride to drinking water, people are better equipped to prevent damage of their overall health. One factor that makes the fluoridation of drinking water such a great achievement is that the essential health maintenance is available to everyone, even those who unfortunately cannot afford any sort of health insurance. Adding fluoride to tap water, not only aids in a person day to day, unconscious decision to prevent dental cavities, but it also is a cost effective way to provide this health benefit to all people in each county that chooses to fluoridate their water. In the past few years, Pinellas County has only spent $0.30 per person to fluoridate the community’s tap water (Fluoride). This miniscule cost allows for this great health benefit to be affordable, available, and appealing. Since every county has regulations on their tap water, their concern is for the health of the people drinking that water. In every participating community, the county regulates the fluorine levels and stresses that the tap water is checked on a...