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The risks vs benefits of fluoride

Posted: 3:47 PM, Oct 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-17 19:47:11Z

From a young age, most of us are taught to brush, floss and swish. But some groups are speaking out against using fluoride, despite its proven benefits.

Critics of fluoride say the formula lowers IQ and can cause things like anemia, Alzheimer’s and acne to develop. Others believe fluoride is meant to help the sugar industry, claiming it encourages people to eat more candy because it fights cavities.

The criticism has gained so much steam that dozens of cities around the country have taken it out of their water.

However, dental health experts say that any negative health effects from fluoride are extremely rare. Additionally, they say by putting fluoride in water, drinkers are likely getting some health benefits that we would otherwise not.     

“You're helping provide a mineral to a tooth that it's not normally getting,” explains hygienist Anastasia Turchetta. “I'm saying that, especially with kids, you're helping the enamel to stay strong.”

If you decide to have your children use toothpaste with fluoride, make sure to talk to your pediatrician and dentist first.

Now, when it comes to putting fluoride in water, the recommended amount is .7 ml per liter. That's equivalent to just 1 cent out of $14,000.

Fluoride levels are actually very minimal in comparison to how much water an average American is consuming.