Why Fluoride Is Good For Your Teeth
Dr. Richard Parsanko runs Sonoran Desert Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona. Here, he explains the benefits of fluoride for your teeth and why drinking bottled water could deprive you of these benefits.
Kids these days can drink a lot of soda and bottled water. And, if you’re like many people, you probably like to take a bottle of Evian or Poland Spring to the gym instead of tap water. And, yes, in some cities and regions, the tap water is not necessarily safe. But did you know that most major cities now add fluoride to their tap water supply? And that fluoride has been credited by the ADA (American Dental Association) for reducing cavities in children by a whopping 60%, and in adults by 30%? Plus, fluoride ingested by a pregnant mother, no matter how early she is in her pregnancy, helps protect the future baby’s teeth.
Fluoride strengthens the surface and internal structure of tooth enamel, thereby resisting cavities. This saves patients thousands in dental bills. This is why studies have shown that people in major cities experience fewer cavities than those living in rural areas. Cities add just a minute amount of fluoride to the tap water, just the right amount for anti-cavity protection as too much could poison you.
This is why bottled water can be costly in terms of protection for your tooth enamel. If you or your children drink bottled water that is made with the “reverse osmosis” or “distilled” methods (it will say so on the label), you are probably not getting the amount of fluoride necessary to prevent cavities. Bottled water companies are trying to give you the cleanest, purest water they can. But both the reverse osmosis and distilled methods remove fluoride, a great source of cavity reduction, from the water. Some people like water that is pure H2O. But you have to be getting other sources of fluoride.
If you drink “purified” water from a Brita, PUR, or other water filtration system, you are still getting the proper amount of fluoride. And in boiled water, fluoride is not removed. It is actually concentrated. Well water is variable in its concentration of fluoride. It must be tested before any recommendations or prescriptions can be made.
While toothpastes with fluoride, dental cleanings, and fluoride treatments at the dentist help with the topical-surface protection for the teeth, the ingestion of minute amounts of it is still essential, especially in developing children, for the hardening and resistance to cavities.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.