Water fluoridation of community supplies has been the American norm since the 1960s as the additive was found to reduce tooth decay. That trend is changing across the country, as more towns are opting to skip adding the dental health compound as a way to keep budgets on point and to minimize the risk of their citizens ingesting too much of the substance.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been scientifically proven to stave off tooth decay and prevent cavities. Approximately 75 percent of all Americans drink from community water supplies with the added benefit. According to the New York Times, that trend is changing as communities are tightening their purse strings and a general "distrust of government" is forcing the issue (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/us/more-places-change-course-on-fluoride-in-water.html?_r=1&;;scp=1p;;sq=dental%20health;st=cse).
Once upon a time, water fluoridation, the act of adding 0.7 to 1.2 mg of fluoride per liter of public water was considered to be one of the greatest health advancements of the 20th century by The U.S. Centers for Disease Control. However, as time has evolved about 40 percent children (age 12 to 15) have ended up with teeth stained by dental fluorosis and the government has officially issued warnings about the tactic and are even working towards adding less fluoride to water. Local communities are paving the way for the anti-fluoridation movement.
The Times has indicated that over the past four years, more than 200 communities have stopped adding fluoride to their water sources. The action has occurred in various areas in Florida, Georgia and Alaska, and the move is being prompted both by the new government view on the subject and the potential savings the move can generate.
When the process of water fluoridation first began, there was no arguing that many children experienced a boost from the additive. The liquid was the primary source of the cavity fighting agent for many years, but that evolved over time has more foods, beverages and dental care products were tweaked to include the dental health booster.
Now fluoride is added to a multitude of consumer products and that has increased the consumption level of the average American citizen. Dentists recommended that their patients brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste as that is a common and affordable source for the dental hygiene booster. The compound is also present in a multitude of items including fruit juice, infant formula, soda, tea, alcohol, cigarettes, processed meats and even cookware. Those sources combined with the fluoride in public water may force individuals to ingest too much of the stuff and that is the main reason that the governments opinion on the matter is slowly changing.
Fluoride has long been thought to be one of the most cost effective dental treatments for preventative dentistry. Estimates suggest that the practice costs communities from around $16 to $18.60 per person annually. Depending on the size of jurisdiction, removing the fluoride expense from the local budget can end up saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Public officials have criticized the move agreeing that it will help save city budgets, but will negatively impact the dental care of poverty stricken folks.
Fluoride has been an important preventative dentistry tool and for every $1 spent on that that type of dental care, estimates suggest a savings of $8 to $50 on restorative work. Research has indicated that fluoride dental sealants is the second most cost effective means of distributing the compound.
Dental sealants are a type of plastic resin that is typically painted onto molars as those teeth historically have been the ones featuring the highest rate of tooth decay. General Dentistry published a report from C.H. Chu focusing in on the cost effectiveness of dental varnish. Estimates suggest that the application can range from about $35 to $60 per tooth and thanks to the highly concentrated levels of fluoride, once it is applied by a dentist, the dental treatment fight tooth decay fight cavities, old or new.
Individuals concerned about getting the proper amount of fluoride to fight dental problems should first investigate if they consume tap water treated with fluoride. The process begins with calling a community's water department and with this call, individuals can find out not only if fluoride has been added to water and if so, how much.
With that information in hand, the next best move is to talk about fluoride directly with a dental care practitioner. A dentist may recommended a number of solutions to balance fluoride consumption including suggesting patients cease using fluoride toothpaste, or adding fluoride dental treatments to part of a regular dental office visit. Individuals looking to find a dentist to discuss the matter further can call 1-800-DENTIST, 24/7 and get the name of a local dental care provider up to the task.