One of the Most Effective Preventions for Tooth Decay
Water fluoridation has long been a way of preventing and reducing cavities. It has an impressive track record. Grand Rapids Michigan was the first city on the planet to fluoridate drinking water. That was back in 1945.
Maintaining Optimal Levels of Water Fluoridation
Researchers introduced optimum levels of water fluoridation and conducted field studies in four pairs of cities beginning in 1945. The cities were:
- Grand Rapids (MI)
- Muskegon (MI)
- Newburgh (NY)
- Kingston (NY)
- Evanston (IL)
- Oak Park (IL)
- Brantford (Ontario, CA)
- Sarnia (Ontario, CA)
The effectiveness of optimum fluoridation levels was remarkable. Cavities in 12-year old children declined 68% based on studies from 1960-1970 and from 1988-1994.
Other studies reported cavities reduction ranging from 50% to 70%.
Consequently, the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were quick to endorse water fluoridation.
Fluoridation Expanded from Water to Other Sources
Tooth decay also decreased in communities that didn’t have fluoridated water. However, other sources contributed to the decline. Food and beverage processing used water and fluoride toothpaste became widespread.
Not only did children benefit, but adults did also. Cavities in adults reduced by 20% to 40%.
Why Is Fluoride So Effective?
Enamel is the material on the outside of your tooth. Inside the tooth is a material called dentin. Both have high mineral content, mostly calcium and phosphate. Unfortunately, acids produced by bacteria create plaque. And plaque can erode enamel and dentin.
Certain foods tend to produce more acid than others. How fluoride helps is in three ways:
- Inhibiting bacterial activity in dental plaque
- Stopping demineralization
- Enhancing of remineralization
When fluoride makes its way into the cells, it disrupts the bacteria’s enzyme activity.
Are You Concerned about Preventing Cavities?
Make an appointment with one of our dentists at Hutto Hippo Family Dental. We can explain preventative measures and help you prevent cavities.