Water has its own benefits to your body’s overall health, but with added fluoride, your community water is also working to prevent tooth decay.
The dental community discovered a long time ago that fluoride offers great benefits to your teeth and oral health. For this reason, fluoride toothpastes were introduced to the American population in the 1950s. But this does not mitigate the fact that fluoridated water is just as instrumental in preventing tooth decay in children and adults. In research studies, scientists discovered that fluoridated water reduces the instances of tooth decay by 25% in all populations, demonstrating the importance of water to oral health.
Why Is Fluoridated Water Good for Your Teeth?
When you drink fluoridated water, the mineral is absorbed into your tooth enamel. This strengthens teeth and makes them less susceptible to decay while repairing damage that is already present. Bacteria within the mouth creates acid that damages the tooth’s enamel, but fluoride repairs these spots so that the tooth cannot continue to decay and develop cavities.
Dentists are now confident that community water fluoridation, with 60 years of evidence in its favor, is a crucial step toward improving oral health. Preventing decay is a much better plan than treating it, and fluoridated water does a very good job of contributing to today’s practices in preventative dental care. An added bonus is the fact that water fluoridation is so cost-effective, with community water fluoridation only costing $0.50 a year per person.
The Fluoridation Process
Fluoride is naturally present within most water sources, but it is at a level that does not necessarily prevent tooth decay. In recognizing the importance of water to oral health, community water fluoridation processes improve this situation by adding an amount of fluoride that is known to be beneficial.
Visit the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion website to learn if your community’s water is fluoridated.
Fluoridated vs. Bottled or Filtered Water
Though studies prove that fluoridated water promotes oral health, the unfortunate truth is that about 60% of caregivers still believe bottled water is better for children than tap water. However, most bottled water does not contain fluoride. If you choose to filter your tap water, the filtering process removes the amount of fluoride needed to prevent cavities. Home water filters remove most or all of the fluoride in fluoridated water, so even though you may be drinking tap water that has been fluoridated, this water is not doing as much as it can to prevent tooth decay.
The Advantages of Fluoridated Water
Since American communities started to add fluoride to their water, each subsequent generation has enjoyed better oral health. We can also credit fluoridated water for the fact that people are not losing their teeth, contracting infections, or suffering from tooth pain as often as they did in the past. This means you are less likely to need oral surgery, root canals, and cavity fillings in addition to your regular visits to the dentist for teeth cleanings.
Other Steps to Take to Prevent Tooth Decay
Drinking fluoridated water is a step in the right direction of living a cavity-free life. Even so, do not neglect the need to brush and floss daily and visit your dentist twice a year. At Arkansas Family Dental, we provide gentle dentistry services to treat your entire family and can even accommodate you when you are experiencing a dental emergency. Maintain optimal oral health by making an appointment or calling our office at 501-683-8886 today.