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Fluoride is added to public water supplies at an average concentration of about 1 part per million (1 ppm) or 1 milligram per liter, or slightly below.

Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in surface waters depend on location but are generally low and usually do not exceed 0.3 ppm. Department of Health and Human Services issued a recommendation for the optimal fluoride level that should be in drinking water to prevent tooth decay.

Tooth decay has declined in the United States since fluoridation began, according to the CDC.

Kerry Maguire, of the Forsyth Institute, an independent (not-for-profit) research institute in the United States specializing on oral health and its connection to overall wellness, agrees with the CDC.

"For the children I treat, fluoridated drinking water translates into fewer cavities requiring a trip to the dentist and more time in school," she said.

The most obvious health effect of excess fluoride exposure is dental fluorosis, which when mild includes white streaks, and when severe can include brown stains, pits and broken enamel.

As of 2010, 41 percent of kids ages 12 to 15 had some form of dental fluorosis, according to the CDC."The new recommendations will maintain the caries prevention benefits of fluoride …

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