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All that you need to know about community water fluoridation

Feb 16, 2018

All that you need to know about community water fluoridation
All that you need to know about community water fluoridation | Credit: George Becker

What Is It?

Community water fluoridation is the method of regulating the amount of fluoride found in water to attain optimal prevention of tooth decay.

Fluoride, as you might know, actually helps protect your teeth from decay. The mineral fluoride is usually found naturally in the soil, water and air. Although water does contain fluoride, the level of fluoride in water is not enough to help prevent tooth decay. However, some groundwater and natural springs can have naturally greater levels of fluoride.

Fluoride & Tooth Decay, How?

You might want to know how fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.

Well, the bacteria in our mouths (Yes, there are bacteria in our mouth!) produce acid when we eat food, especially the sugary ones. This acid will then start gnawing away the minerals from the surface of your teeth. This constant eroding will make your teeth weaker and will increase the chance of developing cavities.

Fluoride stops the formation of these cavities and rebuilds the teeth’s surface by making the teeth strong and solid.

Need For Community Water Fluoridation

Community Water Fluoridation actually helps prevent tooth decay by providing frequent and consistent supply of low levels of fluoride to your body, thus helping to rebuild and strengthen the enamel on the tooth's surface.

Even though toothpastes, mouth rinses and dietary supplements all contain fluoride, community water fluoridation has been identified as the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all.

Community water systems can add the right amount of fluoride to the local drinking water and has helped the prevention and control of tooth decay by 25% in children and adults. People in the United States have benefited from drinking water with fluoride for over 70 years, leading to better dental health. By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation has helped families save money.

Community water fluoridation is the most economical, practical and reasonable way to deliver fluoride to people of all ages, education and income levels in a community. Community water fluoridation is a safety measure that communities can take to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health.

What is the right level of fluoride?

The optimum concentration of fluoride in the community water systems is recommended at 0.7 milligrams/liter (mg/L). This optimum concentration of fluoride in drinking water is the best balance of fluoride concentration to provide dental caries protection and at the same time, limit the risk of dental fluorosis.

Benefits Of Community Water Fluoridation.

Community Water Fluoridation will provide the optimum levels of fluoride. The fluoride, will in turn, benefit children and adults alike throughout their lives by making their teeth strong and solid.

For young children, fluoride will help in strengthening the permanent teeth that are developing underneath their gums. For adults, drinking water with fluoride keeps their teeth strong and healthy and will support & maintain their tooth enamel. 

Dental Fluorosis

The downside to water fluoridation is Dental Fluorosis. It can occur when people are exposed to too much of fluoride, such as toothpaste and mouth rinses, in addition to the community water fluoridation.

Dental fluorosis comes out as visible lacy white markings or spots on the tooth enamel. In severe form of dental fluorosis, staining and pitting of the tooth surface occurs. Dental fluorosis can occur mostly in children, younger than 8 years of age when they regularly ingest fluoride.