A spokesman for the American Dental Association, Dr. Matthew Messina, said these government agencies are doing their job in recommending what community water supplies are supposed to do.
"They have just refined from a range and provided a more exact direction," Messina said. "We are excited that they continue to advocate the safety and effectiveness of fluoride and its value as a public health measure in preventing dental decay."
Messina noted that fluoride occurs naturally in water and different places have different levels of fluoride. Some towns may not have to add any fluoride and others only a little to reach the recommended level, he said.
"Fluoride is one of the best returns on investment as far as the small amount of money spent on fluoridating water relative to the tremendous reduction in the cost of having cavities," Messina said.
Dr. Leo Dorado, an assistant professor of oral surgery at the University of Miami, said that each locality needs to tailor adding fluoride to water to achieve the right level.
Dorado is concerned that too much fluoride can cause fluorosis in young children. "I don't think the standard has been enforced state by state," he said. "It's not just an easy fix. It is something that has to be regulated according to government standards, but state by state," he said.
For more information on fluoride, visit the American Dental Association.
SOURCES: Matthew Messina, D.D.S., spokesman, American Dental Association; Leo Dorado, D.D.S., assistant professor of oral surgery, University of Miami; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, news release, Jan. 7, 2011
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