BRUSHY CREEK, Texas (KXAN) — The Brushy Creek Municipal Utility District announced earlier this month that it would stop adding fluoride to its drinking water. The substance is often added to communal water supplies to prevent tooth decay.

In a letter sent to water customers, Brushy Creek MUD General Manager Shean Dalton wrote that fluoride addition will be permanently terminated on December 1, 2023.

Dalton went on to write that the decision was made on several key factors.

He stated that scientists have “raised questions about the long-term effects and potential risks associated with water fluoridation,” and that eliminating fluoride would allow the district to fund separate public health initiatives.

“We commit to fostering an open dialogue and providing information about maintaining good oral health through alternative means. We encourage residents to consult with their healthcare providers and dental professionals to ensure optimal dental hygiene practices,” Dalton wrote.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, experts say there is “no association between water fluoridation and any unwanted health effects other than dental fluorosis.”

Dental fluorosis is more commonly seen in children that regularly consume fluoride in their teeth-forming years, said the CDC. Mild symptoms appear as white spots on the tooth’s surface that do not affect dental function.

Jeremy Bopp has lived in Brushy Creek for 20 years and said this upcoming change was unexpected.

“I grew up with fluoridated water since I was a kid and you just kind of take it for granted,” Bopp said.

Bopp said he consulted his family dentist after he received the MUD’s letter a few weeks ago.

“They say they would still recommend having [fluoride]. So in the absence, you can make sure you’re using toothpaste, and the mouthwash and the varnish. Just keep on top of it yourself,” Bopp said.