Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been proven to prevent and even reverse tooth decay. Fluoride is in the food we consume and present in most natural water sources. In a controlled environment, fluoride is highly beneficial in the march against cavity prevention. Here are a few facts about fluoride.
A natural mineral
Fluoride is an inorganic ion of fluorine (that’s the F on your periodic table). When the dental industry refers to fluoride, it’s referring to sodium fluoride. When fluorine is combined with sodium it dissolves easily in water, making it an ideal additive to tap water, dental toothpaste, mouth rinses, gels, foams, and varnishes.
A public health achievement
In the 1930s, dental researchers found that the occurrence and severity of tooth decay were lower among people whose water sources contained increased levels of natural fluoride. In 1945, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, added fluoride to its municipal water system. According to the Centers for Disease Control, water fluoridation has been recognized as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. It is ranked No. 9 on the list ahead of “Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard.”
Fluoride in food
According to data taken from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, fluoride is naturally present in a large range of foods with a wide range of concentrations. Foods include raisins, Russet potatoes, lamb, carrots, wine, black tea, and parsley.
The widespread availability of fluoride through tap water fluoridation, toothpaste, and other sources has resulted in the steady decline of tooth decay throughout the United States. More than 204 million people in the United States are served by public water supplies containing enough fluoride to protect teeth. Find out if your tap water is optimally fluoridated.
Ask your dentist or dental hygienist if fluoride is right for you and your family.