Letter to the editor: Only calcium fluoride protects teeth

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Re: 'Fluoride issue far from clear' (T&C, May 11). When I lived in Sydney, I tried to find out what was being added to my water supply. I contacted both Sydney Water and my local State Member without success.

Adding ‘fluoride’ to drinking water seems to have started when it was found that the residents of a small European town had unusually low levels of tooth decay. Photo: file

Adding ‘fluoride’ to drinking water seems to have started when it was found that the residents of a small European town had unusually low levels of tooth decay. Photo: file

On this matter these are some points which might be worth considering.

Adding ‘fluoride’ to drinking water seems to have started when it was found that the residents of a small European town had unusually low levels of tooth decay. The reason was traced to naturally occurring high levels of calcium fluoride in their drinking water which came from an underground source. Calcium fluoride occurs naturally in the mouth as well.

There is no single chemical called ‘fluoride’. Fluorides (or fluorines) are altered elements such as calcium or sodium. All fluorides are toxic to some extent, sodium especially so.

In America, many states add sodium fluoride to their water because it’s readily available and inexpensive as a waste product from chemical plants.

Fluorides are not very soluble in water, so the amount an individual gets from drinking tap water can not be controlled. Presumably, overdoses are possible in that case.

Only calcium fluoride will actually protect teeth and needs to be manufactured. It is, therefore, expensive compared to other fluorides. It is also one of the least toxic. This is the only one which should be added to drinking water.

Graeme Clinch, Harden