Many cities around the world add fluoride to their drinking water, which helps to combat tooth decay. Fluoride has been shown to help keep tooth enamel healthy, which is important as more than half of global citizens will face tooth decay. Edmonton is one of the cities that has used fluoride in the public drinking water, but many residents aren’t receiving fluoride.

Epcor took a hiatus on adding fluoride, but it’s not expected to be permanent. Instead, the organization says that it’s because they’re upgrading their facilities at the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant that some aren’t receiving fluoride. “The reason why it’s taking (several) months is the work is contained within the existing room,” said Audrey Cudrak, the director for treatment plants with Epcor. “The space is quite tight and so it has to be done in stages.”

Because of this, there are nearly 300,000 people in Edmonton that won’t have fluoride in their water. While not permanent, there are some experts that are worried it can lead to health problems. “The bigger concern would be related to children with developing teeth, because the fluoride does help build those permanent teeth much stronger,” said Bruce Yaholnitsky of the Alberta Dental Association and College.