The Importance and Benefits of Water Fluoridation for Teeth

The Importance and Benefits of Water Fluoridation for Healthy Teeth

Fluoride comes from a natural, abundant element called fluorine. Fluoride is released from rocks into the water, so all water contains some level of fluoride. It has been proven that fluoride protects the tooth from decay. Although some groundwater and natural springs have high fluoride levels, the fluoride in water is not enough to prevent tooth decay.

What Is Water Fluoridation?

Water fluoridation is adjusting the amount of fluoride in drinking water to a level recommended to prevent tooth decay. By providing frequent and consistent contact with low levels of fluoride, water fluoridation prevents tooth decay. Fluoride keeps the tooth strong and solid, stopping cavities from forming. Fluoride also rebuilds the tooth surface.

Community water fluoridation is the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to everyone drinking the water. It reduces tooth decay by 25% in children and adults. There are also other fluoride-containing products like toothpaste and dietary supplements, but water fluoridation is more effective.

Why Does Fluoride Exist in Tap Water?

Scientists examined the relationship between tooth decay and naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water. The scientists found that people who drank water with high levels of natural fluoride had less tooth decay. Before this understanding, even people in Melbourne were affected by toothaches and losing permanent teeth. The discovery of the connection between fluoride and healthy teeth was important because cities began to add fluoride to their water systems. Adding fluoride provided residents with the benefits of the right amount of fluoride. Because of this contribution, there was and remains a dramatic decline in tooth day. Water fluoridation is one of the greatest public health achievements.

Benefits of Water Fluoridation

Children and adults benefit throughout their lives from fluoride in tap water. Fluoride helps to strengthen permanent teeth even as they begin developing under the gums in children. Consequently, fluoride in water supports tooth enamel, keeping teeth strong and healthy in adults. Fluoride also ensures there are fewer cavities and reduces the need for fillings and removing the teeth. Furthermore, fluoride prevents pain and suffering associated with tooth decay.

Water fluoridation has been shown to save money for families in Brisbane and the health care system. As a community’s size increases, the return on investment in water fluoridation increases. However, even in small communities, community water fluoridation is also cost-saving.

The dramatic reductions in tooth decay in the past years have been attributed to the fluoridation of water supplies. Research has also continued to show fluoride’s safety and benefits of fluoride when it comes to preventing tooth decay. However, despite these improvements, tooth decay remains one of the most common diseases during childhood. All stakeholders should continue to ensure the communities receive enough fluoride to prevent cavities.


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