A new study published in the Journal of Dental Research has confirmed previous supporting evidence that U.S. children and teens with access to fluoridated drinking water are less likely to have cavities or dental decay.
The study looked at dental exam records from the last 10 years of National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and the Water Fluoridation Reporting Systems from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It shows that counties where 75 percent or more of the population had access to community water that was fluoridated show a 30 percent reduction in cavities in primary (or baby) teeth and a 12 percent reduction in cavities in adult or permanent teeth.
How Fluoride Helps Teeth
Fluoride from sources like drinking water, toothpaste or even fluoride treatments from the dentist team up with the calcium and phosphate in saliva to help defend teeth from acid attacks and other forms of bacteria. These bacteria and acid damage the enamel, the outermost layer of teeth.
It’s important to find out if your community fluoridates your water supply so that you’re aware just how much fluoride you’re already getting on a daily basis. Then, when you come to see Dr. Norman for your cleanings and exams, you can discuss how much fluoride you are currently getting and how much you need.
Fluoride consumption is most important during childhood while teeth are developing. However, too much fluoride can also harm teeth, so it’s important to be aware of how much fluoride children are receiving from water, toothpaste and other sources.
Fluoride treatments and sealants are two of the most successful ways of helping children avoid tooth decay and protect both their primary and permanent teeth. If your children haven’t had sealants or fluoride treatments or you have questions about these simple procedures that can be done at your next exam and cleaning appointment, call us today at 970-221-5115.
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