WASHINGTON, D.C.— Is too much of a good thing bad? The U.S. government seems to think so.
The government wants the levels of fluoride in drinking water lowered, after some children are developing white spots on their teeth.
While fluoride was added to drinking water in the 1940s and has decreased tooth decay in U.S. teens from 90 percent to 60 percent, dentists across the country have noticed white spots, called fluorosis, on teeth. According the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a study conducted from 1986-87, 23 percent of kids ages 12 to 15 had signs of fluorosis. By the early 2000s, nearly 41 percent of children had signs of fluorosis. In the most extreme cases, teeth can get pitted.
It is up to states and cities to decide the level of fluoride in their water, or whether to have it all. Wichita and Portland have fought against having fluoride in their water.
The government is not advising for people to change their brushing or flossing habits. New rules and regulations could be released by the Health and Human Services Department within the next few months.