Think about it: How often do you reach for bottled water over a glass of tap water? Nearly 60% of parents say they are MORE LIKELY to give their children bottled water, believing that it’s better for their children’s oral health than tap water.
In truth, however, this statistic goes against evidence-based dentistry and more than six decades of public health experience.
Fluoride in Tap Water Protects Teeth From Cavities
Fluoride in tap water actually helps to repair (remineralize) tooth surfaces that are damaged by the acid produced by certain bacteria in the mouth, which prevents cavities from continuing to form. Since U.S. cities began adding fluoride to water supplies more than 65 years ago, tooth decay has decreased dramatically. This result led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to name water fluoridation “one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”
Unfortunately, according to a Delta Dental survey, only 17% of parents believe that tap water is better for their children’s oral health than bottled water. Some bottled waters do contain fluoride but usually not in the optimal amount. Fluoride in the water provides decay-preventive benefits for the teeth of both children and adults, which makes it the most cost-effective way for communities to improve overall oral health.
A Little Fluoride Goes A Long Way
The key to fluoride’s protective benefit is by having a little fluoride on your teeth throughout the day. Brushing teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, drinking fluoridated water and limiting frequent between-meal snacking on sugary or starchy foods will help keep most children and adults tooth decay-free.
As with other vitamins and minerals, it’s important to get enough, but not too much. When young children whose teeth are still developing under their gums (up to about age 9) are getting too much fluoride, their teeth may erupt with faint white lines or patches called dental fluorosis.
For advice on the proper amount of fluoride specifically recommended for your child, talk with us at your next dental visit.
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THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.