Fluoride is important for the health of your teeth. It is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent dental cavities. Fluoride is found in nearly all naturally occurring water sources but usually at levels too low to prevent tooth decay. About seventy years ago, scientists began to test whether adjusting the fluoride concentration in water supply would benefit the overall oral hygiene of communities. The practice is known as community water fluoridation. You can also come in, and we can give you a fluoride treatment. This is quick and easy. After applying the fluoride in trays and to your teeth for several minutes, it is done. This helps to strengthen the teeth and fight against any cavities. Depending on what fluoride treatment you choose, you may not be able to eat or drink from thirty minutes to a few hours.
The History of Fluoride in the Water
In the 1930s, dental scientists noted that the occurrence and severity of tooth decay was lower among people whose water supplies contained higher levels of natural fluoride. The city of Grand Rapids, Mich., became the first to add fluoride to its municipal water supply in 1945. This was the start of putting fluoride in the drinking water. Currently, more than 204 million people in the United States live in communities with fluoride in their water, according to the recent research. This helps your teeth and health of your mouth.
The Effectiveness of Fluoride
Studies show that fluoridation reduces tooth decay by about twenty fiver percent, and the CDC named water fluoridation one of the Ten Greatest Public Health Inventions of the 20th Century. However, sources of fluoride have increased in the past fifty years to include dental products such as toothpaste and mouth rinses, prescription fluoride supplements, and professionally applied fluoride products like varnish and gels. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lowered their recommendation of the fluoride level in drinking water to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water. Their previous recommendation had been a range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams.
What is the argument against fluoridation?
Though most communities in the U.S. drink from fluoridated water supplies, the benefits and risks are still being debated. Critics say that adding fluoride to the water supply is unnecessary and can lead to adverse health conditions. This is most notably dental fluorosis, a condition caused by excess fluoride that causes discoloration and streaks on teeth. Other studies suggest there may be a link between too much fluoride and fractures, or other health related issues, though no clear associations have been found. According to the American Dental Association, the current recommendation for fluoride should provide an effective level of the mineral that will continue to reduce tooth decay in children, teens, and adults, while also minimizing the rate of dental fluorosis. Fluoride is important for the health of your mouth and teeth, so make sure to contact us with any questions you might have.