Once upon a time, there was a city named Calgary where fluoride was free to roam the water supply. However, 5 years ago, fluoride disappeared from the system. What happened?
The Story so Far
Fluoride’s inclusion in the city’s water supply was to help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. However, more recent research prompted city officials to remove fluoride from Calgary’s water supply in 2011. The research showed that the adverse effects of fluoride were outweighing its benefits. From a dental perspective, fluoride is seen to be an effective way of maintaining tooth enamel. However, it’s far from being this simple. Other Canadian cities like Vancouver and Montreal don’t fluoridate. Most countries in Western Europe drink non-fluoridated water to no obvious detriment.
Statistics gathered from the past 5 years have revealed an increase in the number of cases of cavities, especially in younger children. Compare these numbers to those from Edmonton children, where fluoride is still present in the water, and you’ll see a definite difference. The gathered data leaves little down to coincidence, and once again the topic is up for debate. However, a final decision on whether or not to add or remove fluoride once and for all is far from being made. As new research continues to churn out, opinions are likely to constantly change and evolve. Besides the already relatively complex issue of the effects of fluoride, the topic itself is often met with difficult political debate. So many conflicting view and opinions make getting anything done nastily tricky.
Of course, the changes may not be due to fluoride alone. Proper oral hygiene education can make a huge difference, and a number of other changes in recent years can also be to blame. It’s important to understand the complexity of an issue such as fluoridating water in order to better understand our dental hygiene. If you’re looking for more information, take some time to read up on the latest council meetings around the topic. Otherwise, if the lack of fluoride has made you aware of that dental appointment you skived off, now’s the time to change that! Bow Trail Dental is happy to take on new clients. Call us today at (403)240-1257 to set up an appointment with us!