tooth decay and fluoride treatmentsIt’s well-known that many municipalities add fluoride to the community water supply. This means that the water you use to cook with or drink from the tap more than likely have added amounts of fluoride. But what exactly is fluoride and what does this have to do with dental care and tooth decay?

Fluoride ions are found in naturally-occurring minerals. As water moves over rock formations and underground, it picks up trace amounts of fluoride ions. This means that fluoride is already found naturally in water and many of the foods we eat, but sometimes it’s not at high enough levels to provide significant dental health benefits.

Since the 1950s, the ADA has endorsed the fluoridation of municipal water supplies for the prevention of tooth decay. Research has shown that communities who add fluoride to their water supply to bring it up to beneficial levels show a 20-40% decrease in the occurrence of dental decay. For every $1 invested in fluoridation, it saves the community approximately $38 in dental work. That’s a pretty decent investment!

How much fluoride is typically added to the water supply? What about claims that fluoride can cause health issues?

It really isn’t that much. The US Public Health Service recommends optimized fluoride levels to be between .7 ppm and 1.2 ppm. That’s “parts-per-million.” In very high amounts, Fluoride can potentially cause health issues, but not at the low levels recommended by the US Public Health and Safety.

What about fluoride treatment or therapy at the dentist office?

Fluoride treatment provided by a dentist can aid in re-mineralizing sensitive and demineralized teeth, helping to prevent extra time in the dental chair and under the drill. For more information on fluoride, visit http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member%20Center/FIles/fluoridation_facts.ashx

If you are experiencing tooth pain, it’s important you make an appointment to be seen. With the latest innovations for sedation dentistry, Dr. Reem Kidess can make your visit as comfortable as possible. Call us today!