Before we define water fluoridation, it is important to first know about fluoride which is the main ingredient in water fluoridation. Fluoride is a mineral that has been proven to greatly reduce tooth decay. This was first observed when researchers compared the dental condition of people living near bodies of water and those far from it.
It was found out that people living near bodies of water have healthier teeth and is not prone to dental problems than those living in dry land. This just means that there is something in the water that helps prevent tooth decay. This is where fluoride was discovered.
Tooth decay usually occurs in children, thus scientist where able to create fluoride in tablet form and this was distributed to children in the earlier times just to prevent tooth decay. Over the years, it was determined that the best solution to prevent tooth decay in a wider scale is to add fluoride in water. Thus the birth of Water Fluoridation.
Water fluoridation is a public measure that is taken by the government to fight tooth decay. This simply means that fluoride will be added to public water. This is the most cost-effective way of fighting dental problems in the USA.
Further studies were conducted and it was determined that fluoride is only effective in fighting tooth decay if they are given at an optimal level. So in 2011, the optimal level was set to 0.7 parts per million. However, not everyone was in favor of having fluoride in their water. A lot of propaganda were done to prevent water fluoridation. Issues began to intensify when reports of side effects of fluoride pops up. But these side effects were never really proven true.
Water Fluoridation helps stop tooth decay, but there is still an ongoing debate of whether or not it is really healthy for the body. However, until these issues or side effects are proven, water fluoridation is still the safest, fastest, and most cost-effective way in dealing with tooth decay in the United States.