In the 1930s, dental scientists discovered that fluoride reduces cavities. Studies in the 40s and 50s backed up the finding, showing that when fluoride was added to the public water supply, residents had less incidence of tooth decay. Grand Rapids, MI was the first city to fluoridate the public water supply, in 1945.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound that’s found in water and soil. During the formative years of a human’s life, fluoride strengthens teeth against decay. Even as adults, fluoride has a positive preventive influence against dental cavities and can remineralize, or rebuild, tooth structure to some degree.

Today, 42 of the largest 50 cities in the USA have fluoride in the public water supply. Approximately 67{dcbe0cd52ce35e2f156887e14605e24111ce99c14f01d3853732956d43020bdd} of the population has access to fluoridated tap water. Even so, dental caries (cavities) is the leading childhood disease in our nation.

As with most substances, moderation is key. The ideal amount is 0.5 to 1.5 ppl (parts per million). In large doses, fluoride is dangerous. Our public water supplies are closely monitored, however. And keep in mind, most bottled water has no fluoride. Most toothpaste does have fluoride. In one way or another, you are getting fluoride… but it may not be enough.

At checkups, I often recommend a fluoride rinse or varnish for my patients. This precautionary measure could help you avoid some cavities, saving you time and money over the course of your life. I believe that the American Dental Association and American Medical Association are justified in supporting fluoridation of public water supplies.

If you have questions about fluoride or preventive dentistry, call my Waco dental office and speak with me, Dr. Locke. I’m always happy to answer questions and help my patients understand the reason behind my treatment suggestions. Ultimately, you get to decide what’s best for your life, health, and body, so being informed is important.