Update on Water Fluoridation
In 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) lowered the previously recommended range of optimally fluoridated water from 0.7 ppm to 1.2 ppm to simply 0.7 ppm. The DHHS also reaffirmed the safety and efficacy of water fluoridation, as well as acknowledged the health benefits of drinking optimally fluoridated water. While the “optimal levels” of total fluoride exposure for adults and children are a subject of debate in the dental research community, there is general agreement that water fluoridation is a significant disease prevention measure with which all oral health professionals should become more familiar.
Water fluoridation is the adjustment of the naturally occurring fluoride found in water to a level known to prevent tooth decay.
Drinking fluoridated water provides both a systemic and topical application of fluoride.
Currently, how many million Americans are served by water systems that provide optimally fluoridated water?
The first community in the world to fluoridate its public water system was Grand Rapids, Michigan in what year?
Oral health professionals can play a significant role in caries management by simply determining if patients are drinking fluoridated water and identifying the role fluoridated water can play in caries management.
Drinking optimally fluoridated water also reduces dental decay by what percentage?
Dental fluorosis is the appearance of faint white lines, pitting, or chalky streaks on the teeth of young children who consume too much fluoride, generally from a variety of sources including toothpaste, gels, and mouthrinses.
The major sources of fluoride exposure include fluoride toothpaste, fluoride supplements, infant formulas, and fluoridated drinking water.
Research indicates water fluoridation is safe and effective, and in fact should serve as the cornerstone to most individual caries management plans.
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