Fluoride

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Friday, May 21, 2010

Fluoride is one of the most abundant and chemically reactive elements on earth.  Many foods (including certain teas, red wines, and cheeses) contain high amounts of fluoride.  Everyone ingests at least trace amounts of fluoride on a regular basis.

Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the fluoride content in local water facilities to the recommended dose for optimal dental health.  Hundreds of fluoridation studies, from more than 20 countries, have proven the effect of optimal fluoride levels in local diets at reducing tooth decay.  In some communities, fluoride needs to be reduced (taken out) from local water supplies and in other communities it is added to water supplies to create optimal fluoride concentration.

There are still a few areas (i.e. Spokane, WA) which have virtually no naturally occurring fluoride in local water supplies and civic leaders have chosen (I believe unwisely) not to add fluoride to the community water.

In such case, your family dentist can prescribe fluoride tablets in the right concentration for local water supplies to prevent decay in residents.

Again, numerous studies have shown that fluoridated water, at an optimal level recommended for decay prevention in teeth, is completely safe.

Application of fluoride to teeth (both systemically and topically), along with pit and fissure sealants, are the two best preventive measures in reducing or preventing decay in teeth.

Fluoride does not replace flossing, but, as part of a good oral hygiene program, can go a long way in helping to reduce or eliminate tooth decay.

Keep Smiling!



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