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Fluoride… what is it? why is it in our water?

Before I continue on with my veneers post of my mother-in-law, I thought it’d be good for me to identify an issue that keeps arising amongst my patients.

“How do I get rid of fluoride from our water system?”

…Firstly, why would you want to get rid of the fluoride from the water? Time and time again I’ve seen people from interstate and overseas with not a filling in their mouth… is it because they are great brushers, flossers, and mouthrinsers? Probably… but it’s also due to the fluoride exposure as their teeth were forming!

“Fluoride acts in a number of ways to strengthen teeth and make them more resistant to tooth decay. Originally it was thought that the benefits of fluoride were only systemic, ie fluoride being built into a child’s developing tooth enamel, making the enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay. This would have meant that only people exposed to fluoridated water as a child could benefit from water fluoridation. We now know that while some of fluoride’s effect is systemic, most is a topical effect, ie fluoride applied directly to the tooth surface and strengthening tooth enamel”

Check out the Australian Dental Association website to answer all your questions about fluoride.