Fluoride is a natural mineral found in rocks, air, water, soil, and plants. It is also found in the enamel of our teeth. For over 70 years, countries including the United States have used fluoride in community drinking water in a process called water fluoridation. Water fluoridation is the most cost-effective and efficient way to increase dental health throughout communities, regardless of age and income level.
Fluoride Strengthens Our Teeth
Fluoride benefits both children and adults by strengthening the enamel in our teeth. In young children, fluoride aids the development of permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. In adults, using fluoride can strengthen and protect teeth. This prevents cavities, mitigates the severity of cavities, nullifies tooth removal, and decreases pain due to decay or erosion. Cavities are still one of the most common chronic diseases in children. Increased community-wide fluoridation can decrease dental pain exponentially.
Fluoride Saves Money
Community water fluoridation can save the healthcare system and individual families large amounts of money. Water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, which then reduces the number of fillings and dentures. The initial investment of water fluoridation cuts health care costs enough to give communities a great return on investment. In most cities, every $38 spent on dental treatments could be avoided with one dollar invested in water fluoridation. As with many community-based investments, water fluoridation offers a higher return for larger populations.
Does My Community Have Water Fluoridation?
Most water contains at least a small amount of fluoride, as it is a naturally occurring element. Community water systems know exactly how much fluoride to add to water to prevent cavities while continuing to keep communities safe. Currently, more than 75% of the US population has access to water with enough fluoride to protect their teeth. That still leaves 100 million Americans without access to fluoridated water, including the communities in Rockland County.
Most public health organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend community water fluoridation. If you wonder if your community provides water fluoridation, the Center for Disease Control provides a map by state and county to verify if your community water contains fluoride.
How to Strengthen Your Teeth
Whether your community provides fluoride or not, everyone’s teeth are different. The enamel on your teeth might need extra strengthening to prevent cavities and tooth decay. In addition to brushing your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day and drinking fluoridated water, Dr. Dunayer may recommend additional fluoride treatments during your next dental exam.
If you would like to learn more about fluoride or schedule your next dental exam, please call us at (845) 627-7645 or contact us online. At B & D Dental Excellence in Rockland County, we care about your comfort. If your teeth begin to decay due to lack of enamel, it is our goal to alleviate your pain and prevent further issues.