Is It Time For Montreal To Add Fluoride To Its Water Supply?

It’s been proven that fluoride strengthens teeth, which is why many proponents believe that the public water systems in Montreal should be treated with fluoride. But those who are opposed, believe that there are both pros and cons to fluoridating water. There is such a concept as “too much of a good thing,” and if the supply is not monitored properly, there are detriments to fluoridated drinking water.

In Canada, statistics show that as many as ninety-six percent of all adults have a minimum of one dental carie. Since the Canadian medical system doesn’t cover dental care, that is a huge expense for many families — and a painful one, too. As many as one-third of Canadians have no dental insurance at all, which can leave them with some pretty hefty dental bills. That is just one of the reasons that dental experts across Montreal believe that fluoridating Montreal’s public water systems is a good idea.

The most prestigious health organizations — not just in Canada, but around the world — consistently show that fluoridated water has a great impact on the health of teeth in a community. In 2016, a study was conducted on the children in Dorval, which is a municipality that does fluoridate its water.

The conclusions show that the children who were examined had three times fewer dental caries as children in other municipalities in Montreal with untreated public water systems. Other published studies show that fluoridating the water in Montreal could cut down dental caries by as much as 25% in children, and by as much as 40% in the total population.

So what is the problem?

Many Montreal residents are opposed to having fluoride in their water. A study done less than a decade ago showed that only about 6% of Quebec’s waterways were treated with fluoride because that is the way that the Canadian people want it.

The reason that most Montreal waterways aren’t being treated is due to misconceptions on the part of Canadian residents about the health benefits versus the risks of drinking water that has been fluoridated. There is evidence that too much fluoride can have negative effects on people, especially preschool-aged, but overall the advantages are clear.

Many dentists in Winnipeg MB are also worried about the environmental impact of adding chemicals to the water and how it could adversely affect not just the public’s health, but also the animal species. But the evidence simply doesn’t support any of the concern. Too much fluoride can lead to browning of the teeth, and in extreme cases can be toxic, but the trace amount that would be provided in the municipalities’ water supply would be just enough to be beneficial.

As long as parents aren’t adding their own fluoride supplementation, allowing their children to eat toothpaste, or to swallow excessive amounts of it that contain fluoride or giving children additional fluoride treatments, then there is no reason to suspect that any harm would come from fluoridating the water. All that stands in the way is a misconception on the part of the government and the public who aren’t getting the real facts about what fluoridated water can do to increase the health of growing teeth.

If Montreal officials decide to fluoridate the water, not only will they be helping with the dental health of millions of children, they will also be helping with the financial hardship that dental caries can put on the working poor. Since they are the ones who are least likely to carry insurance or have a safety net for extra expenses like dental health, it can really hurt their financial situation.

There are simply no facts to substantiate that fluoridated water wouldn’t be a benefit to Montreal on the whole. With a very low cost at the governmental level, it would be saving the residents a great deal, both personally and financially. Considering that statistics show that as many as one in four people living in Montreal between the ages of 18 and 64 are considered “working poor,” fluoride-rich water would be an excellent way to give them a leg up. It would also do away with poor dental health for those families who can’t afford to get regular checkups or to fix dental caries without huge hardship.

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