What is fluoride and why is it important?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including the oceans. Fluoride helps protect tooth enamel from the acid attacks that cause cavities. It can also repair weakened enamel before cavities form. Studies show fluoridated water reduces cavities by at least 25% in children and adults.
How do you get fluoride?
Teeth can get fluoride in two ways: When it is swallowed and when it is put onto the tooth surface. To prevent cavities, it is best to get a little bit of fluoride both ways. * More fluoride is not always better.
Fluoride that is swallowed usually comes from tap water. Studies indicate the benefits of this consumption as listed above.
When fluoride is put onto the surface of your child’s teeth, it is called topical fluoride. Fluoride toothpastes and maintenance sold in stores contain topical fluoride.
Most bottled waters do not have the levels of fluoride needed to help prevent cavities. To learn about the fluoride level in the bottle water, check the label. If not listed, contact the bottler.
Home Water Treatment Systems
Your home water filter system might remove fluoride from the water. Generally, filters that come in pitchers or attach to your faucet do not remove much fluoride. Reverse osmosis and distillation units remove almost all of the fluoride.
Is fluoride safe?
More than 65 years of study and clinical observation have shown water fluoridation is safe. Fluoridation of community water is supported by the American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization.