Melbourne officials to decide if fluoride should be in drinking water

A fight over fluoride in the water is bubbling up in Brevard county. 

On Wednesday, the Melbourne City Commission held a special meeting on the issue.

A group of anti-fluoride activists want the City of Melbourne to remove fluoride from drinking water. Opponents to fluoride say that there are toxic chemicals in fluoride that could carry health risks and that adding it to water is an outdated practice. 

Melissa Gallico, an anti-fluoride activist, says that "communities add fluoride to public water supplies because they think it helps prevent cavities. This is an obsolete practice based on science from the 1950's."

Dentists say though that they are way off base and that fluoride does prevent tooth decay.

Dr. F.H. Collins from Collins Dental says that "fluoride can rebuild weakened enamel. And in some cases, it can even reverse early onset tooth decay. So, I definitely think it has a benefit to all people regardless of age ethnicity, education level, or access to dental care."

Dr. Collins says that research shows that if fluoride is removed from the water supply, the cavity rate in the community could jump 25%. 

There is no law that states that there needs to be fluoride in drinking water. It will be up to the Melbourne City Council to decide whether the fluoride stays or goes.