We often get questions about whether the tap water in NYC has fluoride and if it is safe to drink for children. Today, we will talk a little about the history of water fluoridation and its’ safety.
In the 1950’s, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first U.S. city to have the public water system consciously regulated for its fluoride content. Since then, and based on data from 2002, over 170 million people in the U.S. are served with water that is fluoridated. What most people don’t realize is, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. If your cousins live in Michigan drinking well water or you have a country home upstate with well water, there is a decent chance that that water is fluoridated too. The difference between that well water and community water (like NYC tap water) is that the city water precisely regulates the amount of naturally occurring fluoride to optimal drinking levels recommended by the U.S. Department of Public Health (.7-1.2 parts per million).
There have been several studies conducted since the 1950’s and all have indicated that not only is fluoridating the city water perfectly safe, but it has decreased the amount of decay in both adult and baby teeth by 20-40%. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control has called fluoridating the community water systems one of the “top ten greatest public health accomplishments of all time.”
You wouldn’t be able to notice if your bottled or tap water has fluoride in it. In optimal levels it is odorless and tasteless. That being said, it is working to protect your teeth from decay!
To reference everything we talked about today and for more information of the history of fluoridated tap water and safety see: http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member%20Center/FIles/fluoridation_facts.ashx
Look forward to another blog coming soon talking about what to do if your child doesn’t drink water or you don’t live in an area with access to community water.