Fluoride is added to water supplies in most US cities for the stated purpose of improving the dental health of children under the age of 12. More recent studies are showing that ingestion of fluoridated water does not have a significant effect on dental health. If fluoride benefits dental health at all, it is when the fluoride is topically applied rather than ingested. Fluoridated toothpaste is a far more efficient delivery system than our water supplies.
A growing number of dentists are changing their minds about water fluoridation and report that dental health has improved in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities. The critical factors that most affect dental health are diet, dental hygiene, and genetics — not a fluoridated water supply.
Fluoridated water is also the source of health concerns. Scientists are now beginning to study the long-term effects of drinking fluoridated water over a lifetime and their findings are alarming. Many people are hypersensitive to fluoride even at the typical 1ppm levels. This hypersensitivity has manifested itself as skin irritation, stomach distress, chronic fatigue, headache, muscle weakness, and joint pain. Fluoride has also been associated with dental fluorosis, weakened bones, bone cancer, and environmental pollution. Many countries in Europe have banned its use in water supplies due to these health related concerns.