The Facts About Fluoride:


By now you’ve probably read over and over about the importance of fluoride for dental health. Toothpaste labels promote it. Mouthwashes lure consumers in with bold writing about fluoride content. Dentist offices offer fluoride treatments during routine dental hygiene exams for children and adults who have high risks for decay. Even floss is jumping in on the game. According to the New Zealand Dental Association, fluoride is an essential part of keeping teeth decay free. But why?


1) Fluoride also has beneficial effects on the formation of dental enamel and bones. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth.


2) Numerous studies have shown that fluoride also works to strengthen tooth enamel by remineralisation as well as reduce gingivitis.


3) Fluoride prevents tooth decay based on its ability to prevent sticky plaque from attaching to teeth. Researchers in numerous studies have found that fluoride decreases the capacity of plaque and bacteria to stick to teeth. Because bacteria are not able to grasp teeth, brushing, saliva, and other modes wash bacteria from the teeth helping to keep your teeth clean.


4) Fluoride also helps to make your teeth more resistant to acid attack. Bacteria forms the “furry film” on your teeth called plaque. This plaque also produces acid which demineralises and “eats” into your teeth. Fluoride also makes your teeth more resistant to acid attack from other sources, for example carbonated beverages, jam and fruit juice.


5) There are many people, especially children, adolescents and some of  the very elderly who aren’t great at brushing and flossing so fluoride in the water supply is a very effective public health measure to assist those most at risk. This is particularly prevalent in lower socio-economic areas where there is generally more limited dental care.


6) Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes, demineralisation and remineralisation. Minerals are lost (demineralisation) from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids – formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth – attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralisation) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralisation without enough remineralisation to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.


7) Decades of studies involving millions of people, have concluded that there is a safe level of fluoride – one part-per-million – that can be added to water for enormous benefit to our teeth and oral health with little to no adverse effects. This is the same level as is found in sea water.


8) All the citizens of our community, particularly children, deserve the benefits of fluoride in their drinking water. People who do not wish to drink fluoridated water can obtain other water satisfactory to them or can treat city water to their own personal standards.


All In all the addition of fluoride Is one of the safest and most cost effective ways of helping the larger community with their dental health care. Your dentist may even suggest an increased fluoride treatment in some circumstances, particularly should you suffer dry mouth or have more than one or two cavities a year. Should you have any enquiries please contact your dentist for more Information relevant to your situation.

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