The Centers for Disease Control say one chemical put in our water supply is one of the 10 greatest public health achievements in the 20th century.
But for some people, it's one of the government's greatest lies and can actually do more harm than good.
It's called fluoride and we have it in toothpaste, mouthwash and in our water supply.
Janice Brown of Pitt County says she's concerned about the use of fluoride and its potential long-terms effects.
"Why are they putting this as a drug in our water saying it prevented cavities and they haven't proven that and everybody's body is different from infants to adults, it's like a one size fits all." says Brown.
Brown reads information from websites from "Natural News.com" among other sites, concerning fluoride use.
She decided to make some serious changes to the amount of fluoride she and her 15 year old son, Liam, are exposed to after she read what some believe can happen with too much fluoride exposure.
"The symptoms, they say this fluoride causes are bone cancer, thyroid problems, kidney failure, lower the IQ, sterility." Brown says.
Brown's family now only drink distilled water and only brush with non-fluoridated toothpaste. Brown says she believes fluoride can be toxic.
"The toxicity of fluoride and every chemical or compound can be toxic at certain levels and fluoride is no different in that respect" that's according to Dr. John Morrow with the Pitt County Health Department.
Doctors and dentists say they've seen affects of fluoride on the teeth, called Dental Fluorosis, which are white blotches or brown stains on the teeth. With more cases of Dental Fluorosis reported in children, the Environmental Protection Agency recommended the maximum amount of fluoride placed in our community water supplies should be reduced, from 1.2 parts per million to .07 parts per million.
East Carolina University Dentistry Professor and pediatric dentist, Dr. Stuart Josell says the recommended use of fluoride can outweigh the fears of it.
"In some areas that's a controversial topic, but I think the studies have shown in recommended levels of fluoride there's a definitely health benefit and that health benefit is reduction of dental caries or tooth decay." says Dr. Josell.
But as far as toxic, both Dr. Josell and Dr. Morrow say there are no studies to prove fluoride causes cancer, or reduced I-Q when used in it's recommended levels. Dr. Morrow adds he hasn't seen any eports of fluoride toxicities in Pitt county and that major concern is the aesthetic look of the teeth, not the fact that is can be toxic in excessive levels.
An E.P.A. report did show exposure to excessive consumption of fluoride over a lifetime may lead to increased likelihood of bone fractures in adults.