Maintaining strong healthy teeth and preventing cavities is an important part of oral health. Nature has given us a hand in the form of fluoride. In 1909 a Dr. Frederick McKay began researching a peculiar brown stain on children in certain communities around Colorado Springs. After years of research where no answer was determined, a prominent Chemist, H. V. Churchill found that water in those communities contained high amounts of fluoride. This initiated testing for the effects of safe amounts of fluoride in water, connected to the idea that the affected teeth were resistant to decay. In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first city to fluoridate its water. The result? Cavities in children born after the water was fluoridated dropped a whopping 60%. So began a nationwide shift in preventative dental care, as fluoride was included in many sources of water, and eventually in dental care items such as toothpastes and mouthwashes.
Fluoride Comes From a Naturally Occurring Mineral
Fluorine, the source of fluoride, is a naturally occurring mineral that already occurred in some drinking supplies. Research has helped us to know what safe levels look like, and these guidelines are followed in the process of fluoridating water.
Using Fluoride Responsibly is Important
Fluoride, if used excessively can carry risks. Fluorosis can discolor teeth, and with high consumption of fluoride, other risks can occur. This is why it is important to keep toothpastes and mouthwashes out of reach of children. Drinking fluoridated water can be helpful in preventing cavities, but it is helpful to discuss with your dentist the best ways to incorporate fluoride into your dental care responsibly and to determine whether or not additional sources of fluoride are needed, or not. Your Dentist may be able to answer your questions and give you an idea of what best practices suit your situation and needs, so you can maintain strong healthy teeth.
Fluoride Can be Found in a Variety of Sources
Fluoride is not only found in drinking water, but can be used in toothpastes, mouthwashes, tablets, treatments in the dental office, and a variety of other sources. Knowing which sources of fluoride are available to you can help you choose which products will best support strong healthy teeth, and determine whether or not you need additional sources of fluoride for you and your children.
Fluoride is an amazing substance that has transformed modern dentistry and made it possible to engage in preventative care both in your home and in the dental office. It is very important that fluoride use be supervised by a dentist who can help you determine how to maintain a healthy level of fluoride in your family’s care. Make an appointment at our Longview or Tyler Dental Office any time, and we will do our best to help you achieve preventative dental care for you and your family that meets your needs, and helps maintain the brilliant smiles you deserve!