The great fluoride debate continues, despite showing significant success at reducing cavities, specifically in children of lower income families. Not every parent keeps tabs on whether their children floss and brush properly. Not every parent makes sure to purchase fluorinated toothpaste or mouthwash for their children. And not every adult maintains a good dental health regimen. This includes an effective level of fluoride that is conveniently available that can decrease cavities and, by association, reduce the need for dental treatment.
Some children do not visit a dentist regularly, but small levels of fluoride in drinking water can help protect their teeth. Adults and children receive the benefits from fluoridation through drinking tap water, preparing food with tap water, and making beverages such as lemonade or tea with tap water.
Oakland teeth whitening provider Dr. Greg Larson informs his patients of the benefits of community fluoridation partnered with regular dental visits can help families maintain great oral health.
Water fluoridation was listed among The Centers for Disease Control's 20th century's Ten Greatest Public Health Achievements alongside vaccinations, motor vehicle safety, family planning and identifying tobacco as a health risk. Tooth decay has remained the most common lasting disease in children between 6 and 11 years old. A child is four times more likely to have tooth decay than asthma, according to the CDC. Fluorinated water reduces the risk of tooth decay by approximately25 percent during a lifetime. The American Dental Association found that fluoride-fortified water cuts a person's chances of tooth decay between 20 and 40 percent.
Water naturally has fluoride, though natural levels fluctuate based on location. Dental researchers in the 1930s observed that people in areas with higher fluoride concentrations had fewer cases of tooth decay and reduced severe instances of tooth decay. Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first U.S. community to improve their fluoride levels. This improvement occurred in 1945. Today, the CDC reports that 73.9 percent of Americans have easily accessible water from public systems that are adjusted for optimal fluoride content, and 100 million Americans do not have access to public fluorinated water.
Community fluoridation constitutes that communities modify the natural levels of fluoride in their water to contain the ideal fluoride levels of 0.7 and 1.2 milligrams per liter. In 2010 the Department of Health and Human Services assembled a group of scientists to reassess the suggested fluoride levels.
According to the CDC, they had the scientists review the best information available on a variety of topics concerning community fluoridation, such as the prevalence and trends in dental caries, water intake in children in relation to outdoor air temperature and changes in the percentage of U.S. children and adults with dental fluorosis.
The panel discovered that in light of these changes, the suggested fluoride levels be dropped slightly to 0.7 milligrams per liter.
Fluoridation functions as a supplementary defense against tooth decay for the majority of Americans. Fluoride is dispersed in to community water supplies in one of three ways - as sodium fluoride, hexafluorosilicic acid or sodium fluorosilicate. Fluoride levels are easy to manipulate, and in most cases levels can be altered almost immediately.
Water fluoridation is a simple and economical way to thwart tooth decay.
The ADA reports that fluoridation is a public health program that actually saves the public the cost of dental fillings. A lifetime of fluoridated water costs less than one dental filling.
People against community fluoridation are often more concerned about children developing dental fluorosis. Children 8 years old and younger can develop dental fluorosis due to increased levels of fluoride. Fluorosis will not negatively affect erupted teeth, after all teeth have broken through the gums, there is no risk of fluorosis. The ADA notes that fluorosis can typically be detected by white spots on teeth. Generally the fluorosis is so mild that only dental professionals can see the discoloration.
Check out the CDC's My Water's Fluoride system to research about a community's water fluoridation. Not all states that access fluorinated water are mentioned in this database. Consult with a local water supplier for the most precise information on the community's water supply. There are cases where water filters have been found to either reduce or eliminate fluoride.
Larson can improve smiles at his cosmetic dentistry in Walnut Creek. Larson also happily provides Oakland dental implants. Contact Larson's office today to schedule an appointment.