The potential negative effects of fluoridated water have been a concern of both medical professionals and the public since it was introduced nearly 50 years ago. While many self-proclaimed health nuts will gladly tell anyone and everyone how awful fluoridated water is for your teeth, the research has continually shown otherwise. Most recently, a team of Australia researchers has found new evidence of the benefits of fluoridated water in that it does indeed prevent dental cavities.
The researchers, from the Australian Research Center for Population Oral Health at the University of Adelaide’s School of Dentistry, gathered data from a random sample of over two thousand Australians born before 1960 and 1500 Australians born between 1960 and 1990. Since most water fluoridation was implemented in the 1960s, the team wanted to examine long term effects of fluoridated water.
The center’s director, Professor Kaye Roberts-Thomson, said that although it is known that fluoridated water can prevent tooth decay in children, this study is the first study that has shown how beneficial the fluoridation can be for even adults. The team found that adults who drank fluoridated water for over 75% of their life had 30% less tooth decay than those who only consumed it for less than 25% of their lives.
“Those people who have longer exposure to fluoride in water obviously will have a greater benefit,” Thomson explained. “However, even those people who were born before water fluoridation existed have since received some benefit in their lifetimes,” she added.
In other words, this research suggests a dose-response relationship between water fluoridation and cavity prevention.
The study was published online in the Journal of Dental Research on March 1st ahead of print.