Did you know that January 25 is a special day? It’s National Fluoride Day!
Fluoride is a key component to taking care of your oral health, and it is important for both children and adults. But do you know how it keeps your teeth healthy? In this blog, we’ll explain where fluoride comes from, how fluoride protects your teeth from cavities and tooth decay, and how Delta Dental has been active in promoting the benefits of fluoride.
Where does fluoride come from?
Fluoride naturally occurs in water and soil. It’s also found in toothpaste, mouthwash and prescription supplements. In the 1930s, scientists examined how naturally-occurring fluoride in drinking water affecting tooth decay in children. The study found that “children who drank water with naturally high levels of fluoride had less tooth decay.” This research was important because cavities are the number one chronic disease in children—but they are entirely preventable. Ultimately, the report fueled municipal water fluoridation across the United States. As a result, nearly 73% of the United States has access to fluoridated water since 2016.
Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Water is the main way Americans get fluoride, but it’s important to make sure your toothpaste and mouthwash contain fluoride as well.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fluoride leads to:
- Fewer and less severe cavities
- Less need for fillings and tooth extractions
- Less pain and suffering associated with tooth decay
This means that toothpaste and mouthwash with added fluoride are more effective at maintaining quality oral health. So, check the label on your toothpaste and mouthwash to make sure that it contains fluoride and that you’re taking the best possible care of your mouth.
Benefits of Fluoride
Tooth Decay and Cavity Prevention – As mentioned above, fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by limiting cavities and the need for fillings and extractions. This means fewer instances of tooth decay.
Remineralization of Tooth Surfaces – Fluoride also helps keep your tooth enamel strong by restoring the minerals required to protect your teeth and keeping the enamel from being damaged by dental caries in the first place.
Public Health Achievements
Now that you know how you get your fluoride and how it protects your teeth, you can understand why Delta Dental has been at the forefront of promoting fluoride.
According to Dr. Joseph Dill, vice president of dental science at the Delta Dental Plans Association, fluoride has proven to reduce tooth decay for almost 75 years now. With that history of efficacy, fluoride has become an important component in Delta Dental’s efforts to help prevent oral health problems, through efforts like in-office fluoride treatments and community water fluoridation.
As you now know, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is often added to drinking water. This has led to a significant decline in tooth decay over the years. This undertaking has resulted in community water fluoridation being named as 1 of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you are looking for more information on fluoride or other ways to improve your oral health, check out our blog or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.