As children, we grew up drinking water from taps, rivers, and any other water source we could find. However, as we started to get older, more and more studies showed that we need to stop drinking unfiltered water, as the fluoride in the water source will destroy your teeth and leave you with brittle and dissolving teeth. However, a recent study by the University of North Carolina and the University of Adelaide has produced evidence that the fluoride in water provides dental health benefits for adults.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride naturally exists in water sources and is derived from fluorine, the 13th most common element in the Earth’s core. Fluoride is well-known for preventing and even reversing the early stages of tooth decay. Fluoride combats tooth decay in two ways:
One- Fluoride is incorporated into the structure of developing teeth when ingested, and
Two – Fluoride provides the tooth with a layer of fluorine to coat and seals the tooth, preventing chips, cracks, or infections forming on/in the tooth.
Now that you understand fluoride, let us look at the findings of the study:
The researchers analyzed national data from 3 770 adults, aged 15 years and older, between 2004 and 2006. Survey examiners measured the levels of tooth decay during the two year period. Furthermore, the study looked at participants who were older than 40 (born prior to 1964) and studied the level of decay in their teeth and the percentage of each participant’s lifetime in which the public water supply was fluoridated.
The results, were published online in the Journal of Dental Research, show that adults who spent more than 75 percent of their lives in communities where water was fluorinated had significantly less tooth decay – up to 20 percent less – when compared to adults who had lived for less than 25% of their lives in such areas.
Furthermore, a study in 2010 revealed that fluoride at birth affects your tooth loss in your 40’s and 50’s; regardless of what you fluoride exposure was like when you were aged 20 to 30 years old. Furthermore, this American study revealed that for every one dollar that was spent on adding fluoride into the water systems – at the correct dosage -, the state saw a 38 dollar reduction on dental costs.
Therefore, in order to have strong and healthy teeth, do not fear the fluoride in your water dispensers, and tap water. In fact, embrace the additions; this will save –in the long run- both your teeth and wallet. Other ways to prevent tooth decay is to brush your teeth twice a day and stay away from sugary items.