The trend today is toward drinking bottled water – sometimes it is vitamin-enhanced or flavored, but, don’t you wish you had a dollar for everyone you see walking around with fingers wrapped around a bottled water?
Unless there is a reason why you use must use bottled water, like water contamination issues, regular water from your tap will do the trick to quench your thirst, and, to help prevent cavities! And look at all the money you’ll save by not buying bottled water, not to save the inconvenience of lugging cases to and from the store.
That’s right… your bottled water cannot give you the natural fluoridation properties that regular old tap water can, and tap water has been giving you this little dental boost for some 70 years.
Fluoride is often referred to as nature’s cavity fighter and this is for a good reason, because fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that helps to prevent cavities in children and adults by protecting the enamel, or outer surface of your teeth, making them more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay.
Fluoride protects teeth
Even before your baby teeth break through the gums, fluoride is taken in from foods, beverages and/or dietary supplements. The fluoride makes the tooth enamel (the hard surface of the tooth) stronger, thus making it easier to resist tooth decay. This method or preventative tooth decay is referred to as a “systemic” benefit.
We are all familiar with the benefits of fluoride in toothpaste. After the teeth “erupt”, or break through the gums, using fluoride on the emerging teeth helps remineralize, or rebuild, weakened tooth enamel, and helps to reverse early signs of tooth decay. When you load that fluoride toothpaste onto your toothbrush, or use other dental products containing fluoride, like mouthwash, the fluoride is applied instantly to the teeth.
But the best way to provide maximum fluoridation to your teeth is found right at your tap – it’s free, it’s always available and there for the taking.
A little history
Fluoride is naturally found in most all water sources:, rivers, lakes, wells – even the oceans. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring fluoride levels to a level necessary to aid in the prevention of tooth decay. Drinking community fluoridated water may be compared to drinking Vitamin D-fortified mil or cereals and bread that are enriched with folic acid. In the 50s and early 60s, before the introduction of fluoride to toothpaste, children had their teeth “painted” with a glossy fluoridation treatment to help thwart cavities and prevent tooth decay. In 1960 the addition of fluoride to toothpaste became widespread and is still found there to this day. If you want to ensure your toothpaste contains fluoride, simply check for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the side of the box.
But, toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride is great, but, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “community water fluoridation [is] one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.”
The CDC goes on to state that “fluoridation continues to help prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, even with fluoride available from other sources, such as toothpaste.” That is very impressive; even more impressive is the fact that Today, almost 75 percent of the U.S. population is served by fluoridated community water systems.
Be proactive to prevent cavities
If you are prone to getting cavities, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit with a gel, foam or rinse. You can also take a fluoride supplement, available in tablet, drop or lozenge forms, but these are only available by prescription, and recommended only for children ages six months to sixteen years, living in areas without adequate amounts of fluoride in their drinking water. A dentist at any dental office in New Jersey would be able to counsel you on how to best reap the natural benefits of fluoridation.
Your very best option to achieve a high level of fluoride is continued use of tap water – joint the 8 glasses a day club to achieve the healthy benefits of drinking water and providing abundant fluoride to keep your teeth healthy.