Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance. Fluoride helps to strengthen the hard outer layer of teeth called enamel. When teeth are stronger they are less likely to get cavities.
Fluoride can be found in many sources, including:
Fluoride increases the resistance of tooth enamel to acids. Acids are formed by bacteria that are normally present in the mouth and can lead to decay. The presence of low levels of fluoride, up to 1 ppm in drinking water, can reduce cavities as much as 40%. Fluoride helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay in three ways:
Water fluoridation is the process whereby the natural level of fluoride in a water supply is adjusted to a level that will optimize dental benefits.
Fluoride additives meet standards for quality and purity before they are added to water at the recommended levels.
In Grey Bruce, only the city of Owen Sound adds fluoride to the water supplies to bring it up to the recommended levels.
Fluoride occurs naturally and is often found in water sources; levels vary in drinking water throughout Ontario. Naturally occurring fluoride can be found in Grey Bruce, particularly in Western Bruce County
Fluoride levels in well water can vary considerably. Well owners may test their well water for fluoride. To determine your well water fluoride levels, have your well water tested.
It is recommended that all residents brush their teeth twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste to prevent cavities based on the guidelines below.
A rice grain sized portion of toothpaste on a child's toothbrush is shown on the left. A pea-sized portion of toothpaste is shown on the right. Image and text Copyright © 2008 Canadian Dental Association
A number of reviews on the effectiveness of water fluoridation have been conducted over the last 10 years. Over 90 dental and public health organizations support fluoridation, including:
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