Fluoride is a chemical element found naturally in water and some foods, and as an additive in drinks, tooth products, and elsewhere. When ingested in tiny amounts throughout childhood, it is built into the mineral structure of the teeth while they are forming, making them much more resistant to decay. Water fluoridation has been so effective at reducing cavities and tooth loss that the CDC ranked it as one of the most important health advances of the 20th Century
. After the teeth have formed, fluoride can be used to reduce sensitivity and helps prevent, or even halt, tooth decay. While it may be true that we don’t “need” fluoride, most of the tooth-loss of our ancestors was related to tooth decay of the type that fluoride prevents.
For our patients in the Bryan/College Station area, our water sources have a moderate amount of naturally occurring fluoride, so additional fluoride is not added to the drinking water. If you have a well or if you have any concerns about whether your children are receiving the proper amount of fluoride, we can arrange for water testing.