In 2021, the 75th anniversary of the experimentation of fluoridation of drinking water was observed. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention hailed fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Since then, fluoridated drinking water is available to 211 million Americans.
Fluoride toothpaste is another source of fluoride supplements.
In January 1945, the first experiments in drinking water fluoridation were held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Decades of research before then revealed the connection between fluoride and the prevention of tooth decay. The results of the Grand Rapids experiment were published in 1950. By 1960, fluoridation of drinking water was widely adopted by municipal water authorities.
What Causes Cavities?
Cavities, or tooth decay, develop when tooth enamel is eroded and bacteria can invade. Tooth enamel is eroded when combinations of foods produce acid which eats away at the enamel. Calcium and phosphate are robbed from the enamel opening the door for decay and cavities.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluorine is an element dispersed mainly in mineral deposits such as fluoride. The fluoride mineral is found in soil, water, and plants that absorb it from soil and water. It is also found naturally in your bones and, yes, your teeth.
How It Works
In the 1930s, researchers surmised that fluoride in your teeth served a purpose. Saliva was known to add back calcium and phosphate. They ultimately determined that saliva naturally has fluoride in it and that fluoride is the catalyst for the restoration of calcium and phosphate to protect teeth enamel.
From there it was obvious that public health would be served if, on a mass scale, fluoride could be added to drinking water and toothpaste to supplement the natural fluoride in the human body.
In the 1960s, Proctor and Gamble started a research program at Indiana University that produced the first clinically proven and ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste – Crest. Several equally effective brands have since entered the market.
The amount of fluoride you need daily depends on your age and sex. For example, infants need 0.5 mg, children need 0.7 mg to 2 mg, teens and adult women need 3 mg, and adult men need 4 mg.
The fluoride content in fluoride toothpaste is stated on the label as parts per million (PPM). The typical range is between 1,000 and 1,500 ppm.
Dentists do not recommend non-fluoride toothpaste. However, there might be overriding reasons for using them. For example, if you have allergies to fluoride. Or if you believe the fluoridated water supply provides sufficient fluoride supplement. In that case,
In that case, you might consider a toothpaste with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). The function of fluoride is to fight the effect of acid on tooth enamel. Baking soda neutralizes the acid. It is not clear that it is as effective as fluoride.
You need fluoride to combat tooth decay. You get it from natural sources. Most communities in the United States fluoridate their drinking water. It doesn’t hurt to supplement it further with fluoride toothpaste.
Long Island Endodontics are here among the best endodontist in Long Island. Please visit our endodontist office in Long Island for a professional review of your oral health.
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