You’ve probably heard of fluoride. It might be in your water or your toothpaste. Your dentist may have even recommended fluoride supplements. But what exactly does fluoride do? And why do we need it in our drinking water?
Fluoride Reduces Tooth Decay
This is the number one reason that so many cities are choosing to add fluoride to their drinking water. Our teeth are very vulnerable to acid attacks, which erode tooth enamel and can cause underlying damage. Acid combined with sugars in your mouth produces bacteria.
Fluoride supports our tooth enamel, making it more resistant to these acid attacks. It can even reduce the amount of acid that is produced by the bacteria inside our mouths. Studies show that fluoridated water supplies can result in up to 40% less tooth decay among residents than those in non-fluoridated areas.
It Strengthens Children’s Teeth
Fluoride is especially beneficial to young children under seven years old, because at that age the base structure of their teeth enamel is still developing. A child exposed to the right amount of fluoride will have a higher level of natural protection when they grow up than a child without a fluoridated water supply.
But that’s not all.
Studies show that children who consume the recommended amount of fluoride may have shallower grooves, crevices, and pits in their teeth than their non-fluoridated counterparts. This means their teeth are easier to clean. It’s less likely that harmful bacteria and food particles (which can cause cavities) will get stuck in those hard-to-reach places.
It’s Cheap, Abundant, and Natural
You might be surprised to know that fluoride occurs naturally in soil, water, and certain foods. When a city decides to add fluoride to the water supply, they’re just bolstering the existing fluoride levels. It’s like adding extra Vitamin D to milk or putting more calcium in orange juice.
Fluoride originates from fluorine, one of the most common elements around. In fact, it’s so inexpensive that the average cost to provide one person with a lifetime supply of fluoridated water is less than the cost of a single filling from a dentist.
Want to Know More?
It’s important to stay informed about your dental hygiene. Find out more about our dental services by visiting our website or giving us a call today at 905-434-5500.