What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a safe, naturally occurring mineral found in many plants, soil, fresh water, and salt water. Some areas of west Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and Mexico have very high concentrations of naturally occurring fluoride in the drinking water. Fluoride is often added in optimal concentrations to drinking water, toothpaste, and mouth rinses to help prevent cavities.
Fluoride treatments can also be applied in-office in the form of a sticky varnish that delivers higher concentrations of the cavity fighting mineral. Fluoride varnishes can be applied every three to six months and is especially beneficial for patients who are at high risk of developing new cavities.
Fluoride prevents cavities by helping to remineralize teeth that have been damaged by acid. Acid can come from food, drinks, and the bacteria in our mouths. Our teeth go through multiple demineralization and remineralization cycles each day.
Community water fluoridation was first introduced to Grand Rapids, MI in 1945. Since then, abundant research has been completed on the safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation with the US Centers for Disease Control deeming it one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20thcentury.