Why Fluoride should be supplied in water sources.
Having fluoride in water is the easiest source and is cost-free for people who want to help their teeth. The Center for Disease Control recognized fluoridation of water as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. Although there has been a debate about keeping fluoride in community water, fluoridated water causes an improvement in oral health because it is an effective cavity fighter, it poses no health risks when used in correct manner, and poses no health risks.
Fluoride was first studied in 1935 by Dr. H. Trendley Dean, on the caries rates of the children. His studies concluded that the optimum level for fluoride would be one part per million. This amount would give the necessary caries protection, without the brown mottling of fluorosis. Later a doctor named Dr. Gerald J. Cox in 1939 further proposed using fluoride with drinking water. Research and studies of fluoridated cities versus non-fluoridated ones, verified the decrease in the amount of caries in the fluoridated communities. In 1950, the ADA unmistakably accepted and encouraged the fluoridation of public water systems, as a means of caries prevention (http://oral-health.suite101.com
Fluoride is incorporated into the structure of developing teeth when it is ingested and also works when it comes in contact with the surface of the teeth. Fluoride prevents the acid produced by the bacteria in plaque from dissolving, or demineralizing the tooth enamel. Fluoride also allows teeth, damaged by acid to repair, to remineralize them. Fluoride cannot repair cavities, but it can reverse low levels of tooth decay and thus prevent new cavities from forming(kids health.com)
Anyone can benefit from fluorinated water. Fluoride doesn’t just help with cavities but it can help a series of other major oral health issues, such as dry mouth conditions, the lack of saliva makes it harder for food particles to be washed away and acids to be neutralized. Gum disease like gingivitis, gum disease can expose more of your tooth and tooth roots to bacteria increasing the chance of tooth decay. A history of frequent cavities, fluoride can help strengthen any soft spots. And presence of crowns and/or bridges or braces, these treatments can put teeth at risk for decay.
The Fairbanks Daily Newsminer ran an article this past spring about having fluoride being added to the city water. It talked about how the representative for the Alaska Dental Society and the Fluoride-Free Fairbanks had a 30 minute presentation about the city fluoridating the local water supply. The Dr. John Woller stated that the target range for fluoridated water is 0.7-1.2 parts per million and that the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contamination level for the substance is 4ppm’s (Armstrong).
Obviously the chance of overdosing on Fluoride though water is highly unlikely. The toxicity level of the fluoride is so high, you would have to literally ingest pure fluoride to do so. Most people worry about the toxicity of fluoride because they do not know the amount of fluoride being added to the water and the level at which fluoride becomes toxic.
The only bad side to fluoride is too much fluoride before 8 years of age, a time when teeth are developing, can cause enamel fluorosis, a discoloration or mottling of the permanent teeth for most, the changes are subtle. In one study, 94% of identified fluorosis cases were very mild to mild. Most cases are due to inappropriate use of fluoride-containing dental products, including toothpaste and mouth rinse. Sometimes kids take daily fluoride supplements but may be getting adequate fluoride from other sources, which also puts them at risk (kidshealth.com).
Fluorine, can be found in foods and in water. It can also be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter; stronger concentrations require a doctor’s prescription. A dentist in his or her office can also apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. These treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpaste and mouth rinses. (webmd.com).
Treatments preformed in the dental office with fluoride are extremely important for kids growing up to help teeth stay healthier and stronger with a lower cavity rate. But, like stated before all of these treatments are only offered in the dentist’s office. Making fluoride in water sources the main source of fluoride for families that do not have good dental healthcare or that can not afford the cost of these.
Today, water fluoridation is estimated to reduce tooth decay by 20-40%. As of 2002, the CDC statistics show that almost 60% of the U.S. population receives fluoridated water through the taps in their homes (kidshealth.com). This decrease of cavity’s in children is an enormous help in keeping children’s teeth. Protecting and maximizing the longevity of children’s, or any age group of that matter, is the most important part of dentistry. Good oral health at a young age will lead to saving you the costs of fillings, and restorations when the children grow older and provide a better start for when the permanent teeth come in. This can also help boost a kid’s confidence when he or she has a healthy, attractive smile.
The Fairbanks Daily Newsminer also cited that a Colorado study stated fluoridated communities collectively saved $150 million dollars in dental costs by having treated water. Dr. John Woller, who promotes fluoride said, “Alaska is underserved in dental providers, and removing a benefit where you’re making 40 to 1 on your dollar would seriously put a strain on that system”(Armstrong).
With the economy falling today and jobs becoming scarce everyone needs all the extra help they can get. Not everyone has healthcare and it is a very common thing for people not only forget but neglect their oral health until there is a serious problem. Keeping fluoride in water will help benefit everyone that today, either old or young. Take the time to learn about fluoride and you will find that fluoridated water causes an improvement in oral health because it is an effective cavity fighter, it poses no health risks when used in correct manner, and reduces health costs.
Armstrong, Joshua. “Panel Hears Water Fluoridation Testimony.” Fairbanks Daily Newsminer [Fairbanks] 17 Mar. 2010. Print.
Dehkan, Cyrus. “Water Fluoridation: A Review of Its History, Controversy and Mechanism of Action.” Oral Health. 26 Apr. 2007. Web. 25 Apr. 2010. .
“Dental Health and Fluoride Treatment.” WebMD. Ed. Alfred, D. Wyatt Jr. Web. 31 Mar. 2010. .
“Fluoride and Water.” Kids Health. Web. 4 Apr. 2010. <kidshealth.com>.
“Fluoride Facts.” American Dental Hygiene Associations. Web. 1 Apr. 2010. <www.adha.org>.
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