10.14.2009

Is Water Fluoridation Necessary, Or Even Good for Us?


Our family is very careful about what we put in our bodies.  We eat a largely organic diet and minimize our exposure to toxins. 

But I'm becoming increasingly concerned that all of this effort is being offset by chemicals that may be lurking in our drinking water.  I've written about this before.  I thought I'd resolved my concerns and settled on drinking our tap water.  But I've been thinking more about the studies that point to the presence of sex hormones, mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants and antibiotics in municipal drinking water.  See this article, or this one or this one.  Is this why children are going through puberty earlier, has it contributed to health problems, is this one reason autism is on the rise?  Maybe what I'm doing now to protect my family isn't enough.  I haven't found any home kits that test for the presence of pharmaceuticals and my city doesn't test for them, so I have to go on faith that our tap water won't harm my family over time.  Hmm. Not feeling the faith.

Just about the only element of municipal drinking water that has kept us from installing a reverse-osmosis filter is fluoride.  But I wonder: is water fluoridation really necessary, or even good for us?  My kids get fluoride treatments from their dentist twice a year and I brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.  Do they really need it in their drinking water, too?

So I took the opportunity to ask the dentist today at my kids' semi-annual cleaning/checkup whether fluoridated water is necessary.  She said that having systemic fluoride (i.e., from drinking water) is important for developing teeth more than for the teeth that have already broken through (since these can be cleaned with fluoride toothpaste and given fluoride treatments).  So I asked her if she thought it would be okay if I started using reverse osmosis for our drinking water once the kids' adult teeth started coming in, and she said yes.

I'm still wondering about it, though.  How much damage might these chemicals do to my family in the three years until my younger child starts losing baby teeth? 

What would you do?

11 comments:

Jenny said...

Yes! I found myself agreeing with everything in this post. We are about to remodel our kitchen and when we do, I am going to insist that we install an under-the-counter purification system. The research scares me too. With everything that we do to keep our kids and ourselves safe, is it all for nothing because of our water. That is maddening to think about! Check our aquasana.com or Crystal Quest. They are not as expensive as you think they might be...they are if you do a while house filtration system, but we will just do the sink one. Maybe a shower head filter too...

Great post!

Jenny
http://sidac.blogspot.com

EcoMeg said...

That's what I'm thinking, too. Just installing one at the kitchen sink would make a big difference.

Check out the post again - I added comments about what my kids' dentist told me this morning.

EcoMeg said...

If you're looking at water filtration systems, reverse osmosis (not carbon) is the most thorough.

Catherine Anne said...

Love the blog!

Anonymous said...

I love this blog too!

Anonymous said...

To your list of things you don't use or do anymore because they are toxic, let me add.. I will never put a cell phone to the side of my head. I'm telling you, twenty years from now brain surgeons and oyster shuckers will all have carpel tunnel from digging out tumors 24/7.

JD

Michele said...

What a great post topic. The whole water fluoridation thing has been debate since forever, and I totally agree with you on this one. I'm not "feeling the faith" in my city's claim that our drinking water is safe...
Good call on asking the dentist. Takes a whole new twist now that I have my child to consider, and not just myself!!!

Jenny said...

Hey! I love reading your blog so I've awarded you the Best Blog Award! Come by my blog to pick it up!

2 Toddlers and Me said...

Definitely got me thinking. My sister-in-law has the reverse osmosis and loves it. The only drawback is hers comes out so terrible slow. Just a thought you might want to keep in mind. I know it doesn't have anything to do with health but it's something that aggravates her visitors.

Also, thanks for sharing the dentist's info, I had no idea flouride was for teeth that hadn't grown in yet. I thought it affected all teeth. This bothers me now and I'll have to do some research.

I like your blog. Found you on Mom Bloggers Follower Group. I'm now following and looking forward to reading more.

Angela said...

Good question. I can tell you that I grew up in a small town, and drank well water for 16 of my 30 something years (no fluoride in well water) and never got a cavity until I was 29. :( So sad.

I think they add it because not everyone goes to the dentist (even if it's free for low income, like it is in our state) and they want to make sure their teeth don't rot out. Twice a year fluoride at the dentist is most likely more than enough.

Plus...the fluoride in the water makes our bone structure weaker. It makes your BMD (density) appear bigger on scans but the structure is weaker.

My husband was in charge of regulating waste at hospitals and OMG the studies he had on how much hormones and pharmaceuticals were in our water supply. We know what it's doing to animals...so scary to think what it's doing to us....

Mamatoosi said...

Hi Meg! We use a Brita pitcher. SUPPOSEDLY it filters out a lot of the bad stuff from tap water while leaving some fluoride.

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