Fluoride—Tap Into It!

Fluoride—Tap Into It!

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

Drinking fluoridated water is a great and easy way to fight tooth decay and decrease cavities. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.1

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 nearly 80 years and has helped millions of people fight tooth decay. Fun fact – In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first city in the world to fluoridate its drinking water.2

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. These treatments create a shield on teeth to stop 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.

This information is available for download as an oral health flyer.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Community Water Fluoridation, web.

2 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, “The Story of Fluoridation,” web.


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