How much does fluoridating tap water matter?

Fluoride in tap water has been described to be very beneficial at preventing tooth decay, but specifically how much an impact does adding fluoride to tap water have? 

Since the early 1970’s when fluoridation began, the incidence of decay in permanent teeth of high school age children dropped from 90% to 60%.  After placing a restoration in any tooth to repair a cavity, that tooth will inevitably need to have the restoration replaced or repaired over a lifetime – restorations do not last forever.  A reduction of 30% in cavities translates to an even larger drop in overall investment of time and finances in dental work.

Many places in the country have natural fluoride in the water.  Individuals also benefit from the fluoride in most toothpastes and mouthwashes.  Fluoride is not a magic bullet to prevent decay, but it does have a positive impact on repairing the deminieralization that leads to decay.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.