For half a century we’ve known that fluoride benefits teeth. But although most people mistakenly think that drinking water with fluoride hardens enamel from within, actually the enamel is hardened by fluoride’s direct contact with your teeth. This can be via your drinking water or other fluoride sources such as toothpaste, rinses, and professional topical application. New research has proven it also prevents bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Bacteria is what really causes tooth decay— not soft enamel.
Fluoride occurs naturally in most tap water, and about 75 percent of our cities add additional fluoride to bring the mineral up to beneficial levels. This has proven so effective that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed community water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
But a diet of healthful food and sufficient water still doesn’t supply enough fluoride to keep your teeth strong, especially now that so many of us buy bottled water from mountain springs or artesian wells for drinking and cooking, or we purify our water at home. Purified water tastes better, but the process that removes the impurities also removes the cavity-fighting fluoride.
You and your family need fluoride, be it fluoridated water or toothpaste or mouthwashes with fluoride. Ask us about fluoride applied topically in our office.