Along with regular brushing and flossing, fluoride is one of the most effective elements for preventing tooth decay. There are two ways fluoride help teeth; topical such as toothpaste and fluoride at the hygiene visit, and systemic such as drinking fluoridated water. Topical fluoride helps teeth fight cavities and can re-mineralize teeth that are beginning to decay. The only caution with fluoride toothpaste is spitting! If your child is too young to spit…use non-fluoride toothpaste. Kids toothpaste is tasty and eating a tube of toothpaste isn’t good for your tummy or your teeth! The most effective way to protect your teeth from decay is the fluoridated water kids drink on a daily basis. The fluoride is incorporated into the developing teeth making them resilient to decay when they finally erupt. Systemic fluoride is necessary to age 16 when all the permanent teeth are finally in! Studies have shown children who drink fluoridated water from birth have 40% fewer cavities and can remain cavity free throughout their teens.
Recently, we have had a lot of discussion on city drinking water due to the Flint Water Crisis. I understand this has made city water a concern for every one and many are choosing to only drink bottled water. The Detroit water system supplies 40% of the residents of Michigan, has regular inspections and is currently have an inspection audit. In addition, the city of Detroit publishes an annual water quality report on their website; if you have concerns about the safely of your city water, reference the report to understand what they are monitoring and what are safe levels. If you still have concerns, you can purchase a water test kit from the local hardware store for approximately $10 to have your house water tested. My reason for personally drinking city water is the fluoride…the amount of fluoride added to the drinking water is the optimum amount .75ppm. At this level, kids get the protection from cavities without overexposure. If you still have concerns, buy bottled water with fluoride added such as Dannon To Go and Absopure with Fluoride. If you buy regular bottled water, ask us about a fluoride supplement. Below are web sites with good information about fluoride.
For a list of bottled water with fluoride added visit one of the following: