While some people are suspicious of fluoridation for water supplies, most experts believe it’s good for the teeth.
Everyone knows if you want to keep your teeth, you have to brush them two or three times a day, floss regularly, and see a dentist at least twice a year.
Most communities even add a certain amount of fluoride to the water to help create stronger teeth and bones. This is one way to stop tooth decay before it starts.
According to Ken Johnson, water treatment plants superintendent, the addition of fluoride to the water supply is a good thing for those in the area.
“We received a lot of good information in training and from the dental health people in Oklahoma City about the importance of fluoride, especially for children,” he said. “That’s proved, and I am not going to doubt what they have to say.”
But it’s important that the fluoride be added in proper amounts.
“At the proper amounts, there are no negative effects,” Johnson said. “There are some places with well water that can have a lot of fluoride in the water supply.”
Johnson remembers testing some well water for a family a few years ago.
“When we tested their water sample, it showed over 4-PPM [parts per million],” he said.
Tahlequah only puts in 1-PPM into the drinking water, Johnson said. It’s enough to do the job, but not enough to cause harm to anyone.
The Environmental Protection Agency allows a maximum of 4-PPM for drinking water.
“What leaves [the water plant] treated is about 1.5 PPM,” Johnson said. “It’s still way below the allowance.”
Johnson said for those who are served by a well, it’s very important to get drinking water checked.
“Get it tested so you can find out what you’re drinking,” he said.
The controversy over fluoridation of water supplies has been ongoing ever since fluoride was first introduced into the drinking water in 1945. Advocates of fluoridation say it prevents tooth decay, with no health risks. But detractors say it causes, or may cause, serious damage to the health of some people, according to fluorideinfo.org [see note below].
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