In 1945 Grand Rapids, Michigan became the world’s first city to adjust the naturally occurring fluoride levels in drinking water to an optimal level for the prevention of tooth decay. After Michigan adjusted their fluoride levels, others cities followed their lead. The oral health of millions of Americans improved greatly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that Community Water Fluoridation is one of the 10 greatest health achievements of the 20th century!
The Wisconsin Dental Association and its more than 3,000 member dentist and dental hygienists are committed to promoting quality oral health care and support community water fluoridation. In Wisconsin, the optimal level for fluoridated systems is 0.7 part per million (ppm) of fluoride.
How does fluoride prevent tooth decay?
- When children are young, fluoride that is swallowed enters the bloodstream and combines with calcium and phosphate as the tooth is formed under the gum tissue.
- This makes teeth are more resistant to decay throughout childhood and the teenage years.
- Food and beverages create high acid levels in your mouth.
- The saliva neutralizes the acid produced by bacteria on teeth and the fluoride helps heals the teeth and protect them from further decay.
Doesn’t toothpaste have fluoride? Is it still needed in the water?
Yes, many years after fluoride toothpaste became widely used experts examined this same question. They determined that the most effective source of fluoride is still water fluoridation.
Why do people still get cavities if fluoride is supposed to prevent tooth decay?
Fluoride alone cannot guarantee someone will not get tooth decay. Dietary habits, along with brushing, flossing and routine dental care are very important in reducing the occurrence of decay.
Is there fluoride in bottled water?
Bottled water is consumed for various reasons such as taste preference or convenience. However, bottled water may not have a sufficient amount of fluoride. Some bottles may have the naturally occurring fluoride while others may not. Bottled water that is labeled as de-ionized, purified, demineralized, or distilled has been treated so that little or no amounts of fluoride are present, unless noted.