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Fluoridated Water: Tap into it

Did you know an estimated 200 million people drink and cook with fluoridated water every day?

Fluoride is a mineral that exists naturally in many water sources, but levels can vary from place to place. Water is “fluoridated” when a community adjusts the amount of fluoride in its water system to a level that is found to prevent tooth decay.

Community water fluoridation has been around for more than 60 years and has helped millions of people fight tooth decay. Because of its safety, effectiveness, and low cost, fluoride was named one of the top 10 great public health interventions by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).1

Good oral health habits like drinking fluoridated water, brushing and flossing teeth, and visiting the dentist regularly will help maintain a healthy mouth.

To learn more about water fluoridation, check out our video.

What does fluoride do to my teeth?

Fluoride protects teeth. While you’re eating, the bacteria inside your mouth help break down the sugars in food. As the bacteria work, they also produce acids which can attack the enamel of your teeth. This leads to decay. Fluoride helps create a shield and keeps these acids from damaging your pearly whites.

Teeth can also repair themselves thanks to fluoride. When teeth are damaged by the acids created in the mouth, fluoride steps in and helps the tooth enamel regain the minerals it has lost.

Fluoride facts to keep your teeth healthy:

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water, as tap water is more likely to contain fluoride.
  • Contact your local health department to find out if your community’s water is fluoridated.
  • Fluoride treatments are easy and painless and can be done by your dentist. They create a shield on teeth to stop the acids created by food and drinks from damaging them.
  • Fluoride helps fight tooth decay and cavities by strengthening tooth enamel, which is the hardest part of the body.
  • Water isn’t the only source where fluoride is found. It can also be found in meat, fish, eggs and tea leaves.

Help your kids get excited about taking care of their teeth with the fun games and activities in Marshall Molar’s Kid Corner! Many topics also are available as downloadable flyers in our oral health flyers section.

 

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Community Water Fluoridation, www.cdc.gov/fluoridation, accessed June 2013.