Editor Update: The vote passed! The water company removed the fluoride from the water system that serves Soddy Daisy, Falling Water, Mowbray Mountain, and the surrounding areas. Very few people came out in favor of the fluoridation of the water system. It makes us wonder why? There were a few very vocal people who wanted it removed. With only a few people caring one way or another and it costing money to put the fluoride in the water the Northwest Utility District voted to remove it. We got talking about it and it makes us wonder is this one of those things that you take for granted? Is it “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” sort of thing. Dr. Mark McOmie believes that people don’t know much about fluoride and if they understood it and the role it plays they would demand it in the water supply. Let’s re-visit this blog post from back in May. It has many good facts about fluoride that most people don’t know, it can help you make an educated decision about whether fluoride should be in our water.
With all this talk about a water company that supplies the Soddy Daisy area taking fluoride out of the water. We thought it would be interesting to explain what it does and why fluoride is in the water in the first place?
Did you know fluoride is a naturally occurring compound and was found to have dental benefits completely on accident? After it was put in the first water system in 1945 dental decay dropped 65% in that community almost instantly?
1901 was the year a dentist named Frederick McKay moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. He noticed people from that town had brown ugly teeth but they had no dental decay. He started looking into this matter and found that their water had lots of naturally occurring fluoride in it. In fact, it had many many times more fluoride than we have in our modern water systems. That is why they had the brown ugly teeth it was a condition called fluorosis. In the next few years, it was found that if the concentration of fluoride in the water was less than 1 part per billion then the teeth got the benefit of being more decay-resistant but the teeth did not get the brown ugly fluorosis. Thus began the knowledge of fluoride.
Check out this video it does a wonderful job of explaining fluoride!
WE DENTISTS MAKE a pretty big deal about fluoride and how good it is for your teeth. Truly, fluoride is one of the best cavity fighters out there, helping our teeth stay healthy and strong! But how exactly does fluoride do such an awesome job at keeping our mouths cavity-free?
Fluoride Prevents And Repairs Tooth Decay
Bacteria that are in plaque produce acids that seep into tooth enamel and break it down. This process of breaking down enamel is what causes cavities over time. Where plaque breaks down the tooth, fluoride builds it up!
Fluoride, a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water, protects teeth from cavity-causing bacteria by making tooth enamel more resistant to bacteria’s acid attacks.
Fluoride also helps repair tooth decay in its early stages by building up the tooth in a process called remineralization. This cavity-fighting mineral even reduces the ability of plaque bacteria to produce acid in the first place!
Fluoride Is Available In A Variety Of Forms
Fluoride can be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses. In fact, toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960.
Here at McOmie Family Dentistry, we offer fluoride treatments in the form of a tooth varnish. Getting a fluoride treatment periodically is important because it contains a higher concentration of fluoride.
Fluoride Intake Is Important At All Ages
Exposure to fluoride can be especially beneficial for infants and children. Between the ages of six months and 16 years, fluoride becomes incorporated into the developing permanent teeth, protecting them from cavity-causing bacteria.
However, adults and children alike need to get enough fluoride to protect their teeth. Just as important as strengthening developing teeth is fighting tooth decay, which fluoride will help you do even after your permanent teeth have come in.
Increased exposure to fluoride can be beneficial for people with certain health conditions. For example, if you have dry mouth, gum disease, or a history of frequent cavities, your dentist may recommend additional fluoride treatments or supplements. Ask us if you could benefit from additional fluoride.
Tooth Decay Is Preventable
The take-home message is this: fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. If you have any questions about fluoride, call us or come in! We would love to hear from you!
We love our patients and their smiles!