What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in our water, air, food and soil. In low concentrations, fluoride in drinking water prevents dental cavities and improves oral health.
In Canada, the recommended amount of fluoride is 0.7 mg/L in drinking water. This has been shown to be the effective therapeutic level to prevent tooth decay. Reliable equipment and careful monitoring help maintain these levels.
How does fluoride prevent tooth decay?
Fluoride protects teeth as they develop in our jaws and as they first appear or erupt into the mouth. It bonds with the enamel making it more resistant to cavity formation. It also helps repair/reverse early stages of tooth decay, and slows the progression or rate of cavity development.
Decades of extensive research shows that water fluoridation is a safe, effective and low cost way to improve oral health for people of all ages. Studies show that children who drink fluoridated water can expect up to 35% less decay than those who drink non-fluoridated water. Adults who drink fluoridated water can also expect less tooth decay.
What’s the situation in Calgary?
In Calgary, fluoride naturally occurs in our water and fluctuates between 0.1-0.4 ppm. In 2011 the city stopped adding additional fluoride to our water supply. Since then we have seen a significant increase in tooth decay in patients of all ages and risk levels. We are advocating that Calgary increase the fluoride concentration back to 0.7 ppm, however at this time the city has no plans to add it back in.