There seems to be a lot of debate surrounding fluoride in recent news, questions of its actual health benefits. At Barotz Dental, we have long supported the fluoridation of water as a deterrent to cavities and promotion of healthy teeth in children and adults. Here’s a list of facts about fluoride and how we came to use it in our daily lives.
- Fluorosis (a discoloration and hardening of the teeth) was first discovered in Colorado Springs, Colorado
- It took nearly 30 years of research begun by Dr. Frederick McKay to discover the cause of the brown mottling of children’s teeth
- In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first city to test fluoridation of their water supply. Over the course of 11 years, it was found to reduce the tooth decay rate in children by 60%
- Fluorine is a very common element, and water fluoridation is naturally-occurring in a large number of water supplies in the world – surface water averages between .1 and .3ppm, groundwater can have a much higher concentration
- A 2000 study showed that 67% of Americans now live in communities that provide fluoridated water to their residents
- Fluoridation is very effective because it benefits communities and does not discriminate against income or access to other fluoride products or dentistry
- In April 2015, fluoridation level recommendations were lowered to account for the much greater access Americans now have to fluoride in other products. The suggested level was lowered to .7ppm regardless of geographic circumstance
Fluoride provides three major health benefits:
- Alters the structure of the developing enamel so that it is more resistant to acid attack. These structural changes occur as a child’s enamel develops (before he or she is seven years old).
- Provides an environment where better quality enamel is formed, which is much more resistant to acid attack
- Reduces plaque bacteria’s ability to produce acid, a major cause of tooth decay
Fluoride has been a successful deterrent to tooth decay for over 70 years, helping children grow harder, stronger enamel for longer-lasting smiles. Barotz Dental wants you to have the best smile you can. Saying yes to fluoridated water is a great way to improve your smile!