In 2015, the US Public Health Service recommended a new “optimal level” of fluoride in water in order to collectively benefit the oral health of Americans nation-wide. The new recommended level is 0.7 mg/L, compared to previous recommendations of a range from 0.7 mg/L to 1.2 mg/L depending on outdoor temperatures in geographic areas.
The Fluoride Facts: Preventing Cavities
Fluoride found in drinking water plays a large part in dental cavities prevalence and severity. Since the initial standard set in the early 1960s, statistics and oral health have significantly improved.
- For those between the ages of 12-17 years, prevalence of dental cavities dropped from 90% in the early 1960’s to 60% in the early 2000’s.
- The number of permanent teeth missing, decayed or filled in 12-17 year old’s decreased from 6 teeth in the 1960’s to 2 teeth in the 2000’s.
- People age 35 to 44 had an average of 18 affected teeth in the ‘60s, compared to 10 for those of the same age in the early 2000’s.
- Low concentration of fluoride in water and food made with fluoridated water, leads to increased remineralization of enamel due to increased amounts of fluoride in saliva and plaque.
- Fluoridated water is the most cost-effective way to provide fluoride and dental cavities prevention to the highest number of American citizens.
Fluoride in Our Water Linked with Dental Fluorosis
The one true argument against fluoridated water is the potential side effects of dental fluorosis from ingesting fluoride regularly. In mild cases, dental fluorosis causes a white mark along the bottoms of your teeth. In severe cases, teeth can rot and form crevices. Dental fluorosis has a short time to reveal itself, as it can only manifest when the enamel is still in the forming stages – usually from birth to age eight. To combat the idea of completely removing fluoride from water to avoid dental fluorosis, the National Research Center proved that if less than 2 mg/L of fluoride is found in water, the chances of severe tooth rot is near zero and statistically insignificant.
The ultimate conclusion from the U.S. Public Health Service states that with no more than 0.7 mg/L of fluoride in water, dental cavities will be successfully prevented with the lowest risk of dental fluorosis possible.
Additional forms of fluoride treatment are available at dental offices around the country and improve on the communal benefit of fluoride for your oral health. Greenspoint Dental in the Houston, Texas area provides fluoride treatment as well as other practices that greatly increase your oral health. Contact Greenspoint Dental to set up a fluoride consultation today!