Fluoridation of the drinking water is one of the most impactful public health interventions ever done. Dental caries experience importantly decreased in all parts of the world that adopted the intervention. Implementation of fluoridation of the drinking water to populations has always been the focus of criticism, and these discussions often focus on the safety of the intervention. When asked about safety, many people will tend to assume a more cautious position, and the question regarding safety of fluoridation of the drinking water never goes away. Fluoridation of toothpastes also provides the same impact on dental caries experience in populations. It is reasonable to propose that water fluoridation may not be implemented anymore since there is a feasible and effective replacement for it. Finally, this chapter revisits the discussed effects of fluorides on overall health, with particular emphasis on cognition and intelligence.
*Original abstract online at https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/520789
… it is not a question of if community water fluoridation should be discontinued, but if it is worth the risk of lowering the IQ of at least certain individuals for an intervention that we have a viable substitute. Fluoridated toothpastes will protect against caries, can be avoided or used in reduced quantities by pregnant women to minimize any exposures, and likely will not have any negative impact on the population intelligence. It is acknowledged that moving from community water fluoridation deserves a deeper reflection on the feasibility of widespread population access to fluoridated toothpastes, its cost-effectiveness, and the effort for implementing and conveying a clear message to the public.
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