What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a product of nature, not a medication. It is a mineral, the 17th most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust. When present at the right level, fluoride has two beneficial effects: preventing tooth decay and contributing to healthy bones.
How does fluoride help prevent tooth decay?
- Topically applied fluoride provides local protection on the tooth surface. Topical fluorides include toothpastes, mouth rinses and professionally applied fluoride foams, gels and varnishes.
- Systemic fluorides are those ingested into the body. During tooth formation, ingested fluorides become incorporated into tooth structures. Systemic fluorides can also give topical protection because ingested fluoride is present in saliva, which continually bathes the teeth providing a reservoir of fluoride that can be incorporated into the tooth surface to prevent decay.
Isn’t fluoride just for kids?
Dental decay is the #1 childhood disease, but also the most common and costly oral health problem in ALL age groups. Fluoride is one of the best tools for the prevention of serious dental health needs. According to the CDC, adult teeth benefit even more than children.
Can’t fluoride be poisonous?
Like ANY chemical, the dosage is what makes the poison. If ingested or accumulated at levels too high, over toxicity can occur. Not to worry, research has shown that fluoride in small amounts is not harmful and actually proven to be beneficial for preventing decay in tooth surfaces. This is the reason for specific instructions on a tube of toothpaste: Do not swallow; Keep out of reach of children; and if more than used for brushing is swallowed contact your Poison Control Center right away.
We brush our teeth with fluoridated toothpaste everyday, what is the need for fluoride in the water?
For most people, brushing with fluoridated toothpaste is not enough. Drinking fluoridated water throughout the day bathes our teeth in low levels of fluoride to help them stay strong. Fluoridation of community water supplies is the single most effective public health measure to prevent dental decay, even labeled as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.
Is water fluoridation safe?
For generations, millions of people have lived in areas where fluoride is found naturally in drinking water in concentrations higher than those recommended to prevent dental decay. Research conducted among these persons confirms the safety of fluoride in the water supply. The effectiveness of water fluoridation has been documented in scientific literature for over 60 years. You can visit your local water district’s website to find out more information on your city’s fluoridation levels.