Community Water Fluoridation
For the past 70 years, scientific research has proved that optimal levels of fluoride decrease cavities by a minimum of 25%. Fluoride minerals are present in soil and rocks surrounding bodies of water. In the 1930s, epidemiologists discovered a relationship between cavities in children and the level of fluoridation of their water supply. They found that areas with naturally high levels of fluoride had significantly lower amounts of caries. Dental decay were and still are a major cause of pain, headaches, infection and tooth loss. In 1945 Grand Rapids Michigan was the first to add fluoride to its drinking water to obtain the optimum protection from dental cavities. This process is referred to as community water fluoridation. Since then, over 75% of the USA has the benefit of community water fluoridation. Nearly all community health organization endorse community water fluoridation, including the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, US Public Health Service and World Health Organization. The Centers for Disease Control has named community water fluoridation as one the of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
Over fluoridation can cause Fluorosis, or the white spots on teeth. It is important to contact your dentist or pediatrician to determine the optimum levels of fluoride. Fluoride can be delivered systemically, in addition to community water fluoridation, by prescribed tablets, drop and vitamins. The dosage of fluoride is determined by community fluoride levels and the age of the patient. Optimal ages for systemic fluoride are during tooth development. Fluoridated teeth develop with an increased protection against the acids that cause tooth structure to decay. The state of Hawaii does not participate in community water fluoridation. For more info of your communities’ water fluoridation you can check the CDC website.
After the teeth are developed, fluoride can be applied in toothpastes and rinses, to help strengthen the teeth against caries and sensitivity. We recommend using an ADA approved tooth paste daily in addition to flossing. If you are getting excessive tooth decay, we recommend consulting your dentist. They can examine your mouth and provide oral hygiene instructions, dental treatment, and prescribe higher concentrated fluoride tooth pastes and rinses to help stabilize cavities.
Although the vast majority of health organizations endorse fluoride and the benefits to the dental community, there are still those who speak out against it. Some people see the community water fluoridation as something that limits their freedom of choice, others are due to a misinterpretation of the science behind the fluoride issue. For more info on the community water fluoridation please view this link.
Schedule an exam today to check your teeth, oral hygiene and discuss any fluoridation options that would benefit you.