You eat a well-balanced diet. So does your family. You brush regularly. You floss every day. You see your dentist every six months. You’ve got your bases covered, right? But are you getting enough Fluoride?
Fluoride, a natural element present in certain foods and water sources, is vital for strong, decay-resistant teeth. If you’re lucky, you’re one of millions of Canadians who benefit from the fluoridation of their drinking water. If not, you may need to take extra steps to make sure you are exposed to the proper amounts of this decay fighter.
Consider the facts:
- Water fluoridation, which began in 1945, is the most cost-effective method for preventing tooth decay.
- Fluoridation has played a major role in the reduction of tooth decay — 40 – 70 percent fewer cavities in children and 40 – 60 percent fewer cavities in adults.
- Young children’s teeth need fluoride to help harden the tooth enamel and make it more resistant to decay. In adults, fluoride can repair the early stages of tooth decay before it can create noticeable problems.
- If there’s not enough fluoride in your water supply—community or well—you should ask your dentist how you and your family can get the proper amount of fluoride. Your dentist may prescribe a daily fluoride supplement to ensure your children get adequate amounts of fluoride.
- Toothpaste, mouth rinses and professionally applied fluoride treatments are all examples of direct applications of fluoride.
- The cost of water fluoridation for a lifetime of protection costs approximately $41, less than it costs to fill just one cavity.
Think of fluoride as your secret weapon. It’s the key to good dental health. But like any team player, it can’t offer you full protection by itself. You need to back it up with regular bushing, flossing and regular visits to your dentist.