What can we say about fluoride? First, we’ll quickly dispel some common myths and then we’ll educate you on fluoride facts. Contrary to popular belief, fluoride is a natural mineral found in food and water. Many people believe it can cause cancer, can harm children, and that it is an expensive medication forced upon communities. In this post, we’re going to do our best to debunk myths like this and to clearly outline the facts behind fluoride, especially in light of National Children’s Dental Health Month.
Fluoride Fact #1: Natural Mineral
Although fluoride is found naturally in water, it’s not usually found at a high enough level to protect our teeth. In 2011, the CDC found that “an optimal level of fluoride in drinking water provides enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay in children and adults while limiting the risk of dental fluorosis, which is the only unwanted health effect of community water fluoridation.” Per the organization’s research and recommendation, the ideal level for water fluoridation is 0.7 milligrams per liter.
Fluoride Fact #2: Important Nutrient for Healthy Teeth
As indicated in fact #1, the right amount of fluoride in drinking water can act as an agent to strengthen your teeth. U.S. court decisions continue to reject the argument that fluoride is a medication; it’s recognized as an everyday product that is fortified to improve our health.
Fluoride Fact #3: Cost-Effective Way to Prevent Tooth Decay
According to the Massachusetts Coalition for Oral Health, fluoridation is not only cost-effective, but it’s also cost saving, especially in regard to matters surrounding tooth decay. In fact, the reduction in cost of dental restorations like fillings significantly exceeds the cost of implementing the water fluoridation process in the majority of local communities. Further, research has identified an average cost savings of between $15.95 and $18.62 per person, in both small and large communities, on an annual basis. Perhaps more noteworthy, monetary success like this is rare for public health interventions.
Fluoride Fact #4: Fluoridated Water is a Protector
Here is a simple math equation: fluoridated water + toothpaste = less tooth decay. Fluoridated water is used to build on the benefits of fluoride toothpaste. Together, these levels of fluoride offer an effective way to protect our teeth from tooth decay.
Fluoride Fact #5: Fluoride in Childhood Sets the Tone for Teeth
Fluoride is a necessary component for strengthening teeth in babies and children. Using fluoride to prevent and control cavities has been found to be safe and effective, so there shouldn’t be any concern when it comes to fluoride and your children’s health. When children start drinking fluoridated water at a young age, their teeth are designed to grow stronger, and resist decay more effectively over the course of their lifetime.
…stay tuned, we’ll be delivering more fluoride facts to you in the near future because, yes, they do abound! And as always, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns about fluoride or any dental matter – we’re here and happy to allay any fears you may have!