Water fluoridation is the controlled addition of fluoride to a public water supply to reduce tooth decay. Fluoridated water has fluoride at a level that is effective for preventing cavities; this can occur naturally or by adding fluoride. Fluoridated water operates on tooth surfaces: in the mouth it creates low levels of fluoride in saliva, which reduces the rate at which tooth enamel demineralizes and increases the rate at which it remineralizes in the early stages of cavities. Water fluoridation can cause dental fluorosis, which can alter the appearance of developing teeth. Fluoride’s effects depend on the total daily intake of fluoride from all sources. Drinking water is typically the largest source; other methods of fluoride therapy include fluoridation of toothpaste, salt, and milk. It has been suggested that adding calcium to the water would reduce cavities further. Other agents to prevent tooth decay include antibacterials such as chlorhexidine and sugar substitutes such as xylitol. Xylitol-sweetened chewing gum has been recommended as a supplement to fluoride and other conventional treatments if the gum is not too costly. Two proposed approaches, bacteria replacement therapy (probiotics) and caries vaccine, would share water fluoridation’s advantage of requiring only minimal patient compliance, but have not been proven safe and effective. Like vaccination and food fortification, fluoridation presents a conflict between benefiting the common good and infringing on individual rights. Fluoridation can be viewed as a violation of ethical or legal rules that prohibit medical treatment without medical supervision or informed consent, and that prohibit administration of unlicensed medical substances. U.S. opponents of fluoridation were heartened by a 2006 National Research Council report about hazards of water naturally fluoridated to high levels; the report recommended lowering the U.S. maximum limit of 4 mg/L for fluoride in drinking water. Opposition campaigns involve newspaper articles, talk radio, and public forums. Literature links fluoride exposure to a wide variety of effects, including allergy, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, and low IQ, along with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, pineal gland, and thyroid. When you consume too much fluoride, your teeth can become discolored and crumble. But that’s nothing compared to the other ways that fluoride attacks your mind and body. In tests on laboratory animals, fluoride has been shown to enhance the brain’s absorption of aluminum – the substance that’s found in the brains of most Alzheimer’s patients. Three different osteoporosis studies have associated hip fractures with fluoridation. And excessive fluoride has been shown to damage the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, leading to limited joint mobility, ligament calcification, muscular degeneration and neurological deficits. A number of different studies have linked fluoride to as many as 10,000 cancer deaths per year, with a high incidence of bone cancer among men exposed to fluoridated water. Local, state and federal government agencies across the U.S. do their best to simply dismiss all this bad news. Unlike their European counterparts, they’re sticking to their outdated and baseless claims that the stuff is good for you. Fluoride is not something your body needs. No one has a fluoride deficiency. Fluoride is a false magic bullet solution from a bygone era. Years after fluoridation began, the word is getting out that this stuff is just plain bad. Unfortunataly, it is about to take its toll on at least one more generation of American kids before someone overcomes the government marketing mindset and reveals this poison for what it really is.