You’ve probably heard that fluoride is good for your teeth. But do you know what it is, what it does and how much we need to keep our teeth strong and healthy?
Your dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych is sharing the following list of frequently asked questions about fluoride and fluoridated drinking water to provide a better understanding about the subject.
What is fluoride, and where does it originate? Fluoride is actually a compound obtained naturally from soil, water, and specific foods. It is also found in almost all of the public drinking water in the country. Most commercial toothpaste also contains fluoride as an additive.
How does fluoride get into our drinking water? Almost all water contains some fluoride naturally, but usually at levels too low to help with the prevention of tooth decay. So it is typically added to drinking water to help reduce tooth decay. Many communities regulate the fluoride concentration in the local water supply to a level that has been shown to decrease tooth decay.
Are there benefits associated with drinking fluoridated drinking water? According to your dentist Columbia, fluoride works by stopping – or even reversing – the development of tooth decay, thereby keeping your tooth enamel strong and solid. It helps to add important minerals back to tooth surfaces and prevents cavities from forming.
Are there negative effects of drinking fluoridated water? There are many myths about the negative effects of fluoridated water – including claims that it causes cancer, inhibits growth and lowers a person’s IQ. But the safety and usefulness of fluoridated water has been supported by both independent and expert studies. Current research demonstrates that the only unwanted health effect of fluoridated water is dental fluorosis, which is a cosmetic condition that affects the teeth and is caused by overexposure to fluoride during the first years of life.
Does all bottled water contain fluoride? Bottled water products that are labeled as de-ionized, purified, or distilled contain only trace amounts of fluoride, though some may have added fluoride, so be sure to check the label to see if fluoride is listed as an ingredient.
Many patients of your dentist Columbia have questions about what is good for both their teeth and their overall health. Since a lot of available information can be misleading or confusing, we’re always happy to help our patients sort through all of the fact and fiction when they come in for a dental checkup.