Q: What is Water Fluoridation?
A: In many community water systems, a controlled amount of Fluoride is added to the drinking water to promote dental health and reduce tooth decay. This practice is referred to as water fluoridation. The current recommended concentration for water fluoridation is 0.7 mg/L (milligrams per liter of water)
Q: What are the Benefits?
A: Water fluoridation promotes oral health and reaches everyone in the community. Acid, produced by bacteria in the mouth, can create holes on the surface of the teeth. Fluoride helps protect and rebuild this surface, preventing about 25% of cavities. This saves communities and families money on dental treatment.
Q: Where Else is Fluoride Found?
A: Fluoride also naturally occurs in groundwater. The concentration of Fluoride in groundwater can vary from region to region in the United States. Around Kalamazoo County, Fluoride levels in groundwater are around 0.02 mg/L to 0.4 mg/L.
Q: How is Water Fluoridation Regulated?
A: The type of Fluoride and concentration that may be added to community water systems is regulated by the State. Learn more by clicking the EGLE link to the left. The type of Fluoride and concentration that may be added to bottled water is regulated by the FDA. Learn more by clicking the FDA link to the left.
Q: How Much is in My Water?
A: In the Kalamazoo area, the community water system is the Public Services Municipal Water Supply. Our drinking water is fluoridated to the recommended level of 0.7 mg/L.
If you live in a surrounding community, you can find out if your water system is fluoridated by clicking the My Water's Fluoride link to the left.
If you have a private residential well, the Kalamazoo County Health Department can help determine the Fluoride level in your water. Learn more by clicking the Kalamazoo County Government link to the left.
Q: Is too much Fluoride Bad?
A: Dentists and public health professionals agree that an ideal level of Fluoride in our diet can help promote healthy teeth and strong bones. We also know that too much Fluoride, over the course of many years, can be a health concern. Research has helped health professionals determine the most beneficial level of Fluoride, and that level is different based on your life stage. View the table to the right for more information.
Q: Are Fluoride Additives Safe?
A: Fluoride which is added to community water systems is obtained by different manufacturing processes.
The three different types of Fluoride which can be added to community water systems are:
- Fluorosilicic Acid
- Sodium Fluorosilicate
- Sodium Fluoride
Additionally, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) cites two recent studies which show the same Fluoride ion is present in naturally occurring Fluoride and in Fluoride drinking water additives. These studies also suggest our bodies metabolize Fluoride additives in the same manor they metabolize naturally occurring Fluoride.
Q: What Do the Professionals Say?
A: The American Water Works Association: "AWWA supports the application of Fluoride in a responsible, effective, and reliable manner that includes monitoring and control of Fluoride levels mandated by provincial, state, and/or federal laws and which is subject to community acceptance through applicable local decision-making processes. AWWA supports regular reviews of the most current research on Fluoride and the positions of the medical and dental communities." Learn more by clicking on the AWWA link to the left.
A: The Kalamazoo Valley District Dental Society: "Fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities. When you brush your teeth with Fluoride toothpaste, use other Fluoride dental products and drink water with Fluoride you are preventing cavities and strengthening your teeth's enamel." Learn more by clicking the KVDDS link to the left.
The Kalamazoo Water Pumping Stations add small amounts of chlorine for disinfection, fluoride to keep your teeth healthy and a phosphate to help control iron and provide corrosion control in the water pipes.
-Henry the Water Drop