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Fluoride Helps Prevent Cavities

Benefits of Fluoride

Today’s Gazette Telegraph includes an editorial from the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Titled “Fluoride’s Benefits are Settled,” the article brings up an important point about dental health. Decades of scientific research shows fluoride helps prevent cavities and is safe in the amounts usually present in drinking water.

ADA Position On Fluoridated Water

From the American Dental Association (ADA) website: “More than 70 years of scientific research has consistently shown that an optimal level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. Simply by drinking water, Americans can benefit from fluoride’s cavity protection whether they are at home, work or school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”

The ADA website also provides interesting information regarding fluoridated water.  The optimal level of fluoride in the water is 0.7mg/L . By comparison, this equates to 1 inch in 23 miles, or 1 minute in 1000 days, or 1cent in $14,000. A small amount of fluoride packs a big punch in terms of preventing cavities.  This is why you see the ADA supporting the use of fluoridated water.

Naturally Occurring Fluoridated Water

Fluoride is naturally present in Colorado Springs’ water supply. In the past, several areas of town had too much fluoride present their water supplies, causing fluorosis, a condition characterized by white spots or a brown stain on teeth. This brochure from Colorado Springs Utilities notes that currently, all water in the City meets EPA standards regarding safe amounts.

Personal Experience Shows Fluoride Helps Prevent Cavities

I see the benefits of fluoridated water every week when kids come into our office with no cavities.  Furthermore, my opinion about the benefits of drinking fluoridated water was reinforced on mission trips we took to the Dominican Republic and Kenya. In the Dominican Republic, we saw water without fluoride and kids with easy access to sugar cane. Sadly, and predictably, we saw rampant decay of their teeth. In Kenya, an area which has naturally occurring fluoride in the water, we saw significantly less decay when we treated kids. While the diet there did play a part in their dental health, it also shows that fluoride helps prevent cavities.

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Mark T. Albers, D.D.S.
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Mark T. Albers, D.D.S.
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