For years the City of College Station has been putting fluoride in the water to help fight tooth decay, but it’s a practice they might be stopping.
Using water from the faucet, either drinking or brushing, sometimes can be hard to avoid.
"I like to brush in the morning, lunch and dinner. It's important to our family,” said Candace Monroe, a College Station resident.
After 12 years of fluoridating the city's water, the city might permanently discontinue adding fluoride to the water supply. That would save the city about $40,000 a year.
"If it's for saving money, it's really not worth it. I think our health is more important,” said Monroe.
Fluoridation is a recommended practice, but is not legally required by state or federal regulation. The city of Bryan does not fluoridate its water. College Station is the last water producer in the area to provide extra fluoride to its water.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends 0.7 - 1.2 mg/L. Currently College Station has that ideal amount, but the College Station city manager is proposing to do away with fluoride. That would leave the city's water with it's natural amount of fluoride at .4 mg/L. That’s below the recommended amount. Some people say it's good because that reduces the amount of chemicals in the water.
"If you had a child raised on water supply that had .4 parts per million instead of .7-1.0, that person’s teeth would not be as resistant to decay as the person who had the ideal amount. So taking the fluoride out, and it goes to .4, then the teeth aren't going to be as strong,” said Dr. Michael Reece, a dentist in College Station.
If the city does decide to do away with fluoridating the water, adding fluoride supplements for your water is an alternative option and dentist recommended.
The American Dental Association (ADA) says the fluoride in the water works when it comes in contact with the tooth enamel and when you ingest it.
Stopping the fluoridation of water is one of the elements that comprises the proposed budget for fiscal year 2012. The city council will be voting to adopt the budget September 22.