Tasteless and invisible, it is easy to overlook the benefits of fluoride in your drinking water. Movements such as Healthier Colorado – Fluoride Project has been struggling with this. Well, that is until you realize how high the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regards water fluoridation.
The CDC proclaims fluoridation among the top 10 of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. For such an esteemed organization to come out publicly and show support, the program must be on to something.
And it is. Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral in water and soil is hailed as a natural way to combat dental caries.
Fewer and Less Severe Dental Cavities
If you have ever had the misfortune of suffering from a toothache, then you understand the need to espouse great oral hygiene. By its nature, your mouth is a war zone. There’s an army of microbes multiplying by the minutes encouraged by the hot and wet conditions and fueled by the food debris.
The bacteria break down sugars to produce energy for reproduction, secreting acids as a by-product. These acids corrode and dissolve the protective enamel layer on the teeth, creating small cavities. Now, if your water supply has an adequate amount of fluoride, the mineral strengthens the enamel.
This means that it can withstand the constant onslaught, incurring minimal damage. It means that you will have fewer cavities, and if you do, they are small in size.
Protecting the At-risk Group
While toothaches are unbearable for an adult, they can be debilitating on a growing child. Dental caries, the disease the causes tooth cavity are five more times more common in 5–17-year-olds than asthma. Combined with poor dental hygiene, children are at a greater risk of tooth decay and tooth loss.
Thanks to the protective properties of fluoride, this at-risk group has a fighting chance. Fluoride in drinking water strengths the enamel while protecting the permanent teeth in the gums before they erupt.
Water fluoridation is an excellent and affordable way to safeguard the health and well-being of a large community of people. Fluoride improves the ability of teeth to withstand the constant onslaught from acids and microbes in the mouth.