Drinking tap water may help you avoid dentist's drill

Apr 13, 2010

Tooth decay affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC states that tooth decay, if left untreated, can cause pain and infections that hinder eating, speaking, playing and learning. The controlled addition of a fluoride compound to public water supplies is considered to be the most cost-effective way to prevent cavities and fight tooth decay, according to a study published in the January/February 2010 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) peer-reviewed clinical journal.

"Fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before damage is even visible," said C.H. Chu, BDS, PhD, MAGD, ABGD, lead author of the study. "Studies have confirmed the most effective source of fluoride to be water fluoridation."

More than 144 million United States residents in more than 10,000 communities drink fluoridated tap water, providing an automatic defense against the harmful ingredients that cause such a preventable oral health disease.

"Instead of drilling holes to fix cavities, dentists would rather educate the public on how to avoid developing in the first place," said Cynthia Sherwood, DDS, FAGD, spokesperson for the AGD. "Drinking to receive fluoride is safe, and it's easier on your wallet than going to the dentist for a filling."

The second-most effective source of fluoride is varnish. Varnish, applied quickly and easily by a dentist, is one of the most concentrated products available commercially. Varnishes that contain sodium fluoride adhere to tooth surfaces when saliva is present, providing an excellent fluoride treatment.

Keeping fluoride in the mouth enhances its ability to arrest demineralization and promote remineralization, and varnishes are better for this purpose than fluoridated drinking water or toothpaste. Fluoride varnishes are typically used for patients who don't receive enough fluoride from other sources.

"The bland flavor and simplicity of the varnish method also makes it well-tolerated by young children and special needs patients," Dr. Chu said.

Dr. Chu looked at the effectiveness of in specialty milk and salt products, toothpaste, mouthrinse and gum, but found that only the water fluoridation and varnish methods had the ability to reduce cavities by more than 30 percent.

Explore further: Combination of diabetes and heart disease substantially reduces life expectancy

More information: To learn more about fluoride and tooth decay, visit www.KnowYourTeeth.com

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User comments : 5

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1 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2010
Drinking flouridated water or other liquids is bad.
The risks outweigh the benefit.
The flouride goes in your whole body where it's nothing but harmful.
It doenst really help your bones overall, and its deadly toxic, causing a range of problems. Flouride should only be applied to teeth directly, as in toothpaste, fouride rinse, etc. It's so strange they way they keep pushing this on us. There is no amount of flouride that's 'safe'. Safe as in not deadly-yeah...safe as in not the least bit harmful-no way! If you practice good oral hygeine you dont even need ANY flouride EVER. You can use non-flouride pastes with special calcium additives etc. Flouride should not be in tap water.
You should be able to choose your flouride exposure, not have it forced upon you.
3 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
Not that I agree with VOR, but if you don't want to drink fluoridated water just buy a reverse osmosis filter. They remove fluoride and last I saw Costco was selling them for $150.

That said, if you want to make sure you're drinking fluoridated water don't use a reverse osmosis filter. Carbon filters and micro-filtration filters don't remove fluoride, so you'll still have fluoride in water that goes through a Pur or Brita filter.
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
Because public water supplies are fluoridated, it's impossible to avoid fluoride because its in virtually all foods and beverages sold in restaurants and supermarkets.

After 65 years of water fluoridation in the United States, tooth decay is a growing epidemic. See: http://www.Fluori...pot.com. Modern science shows that fluoridation is ineffective at reducing tooth decay, harmful to health and a waste of money:

New York State Department of Health dentist J. V. Kumar published national statistics in the July 2009 JADA which show similar cavity rates regardless of water fluoride content, However, dental fluorosis rates increased along with water fluoride levels. See analysis “Fluoridation No Benefit; Definite Harm,” by Kathleen M. Thiessen, Ph.D., SENES Oak Ridge, Inc., Center for Risk Analysis here:


Tell your legislators to stop adding fluoride chemicals into your community's water supply.
not rated yet Apr 14, 2010
I am so sure dentists would rather educate than drill holes, who wouldn't want to put themselves out of business?
not rated yet Apr 19, 2010
After 65 years of water fluoridation in the United States, tooth decay is a growing epidemic. See: http://www.Fluori...pot.com. Modern science shows that fluoridation is ineffective at reducing tooth decay, harmful to health and a waste of money:

For the past 20 of those 65 years we've increasingly advised people to drink bottled (non-fluoridated) water. Correlation does not mean causation however there's enough correlation here to merit a new study.

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