A recent survey found that some 86% of people thought it was a good idea to have fluoride added to their drinking water. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in some drinking water in the UK and is naturally present in many foods. However the public water supply in Leeds has a low level of naturally occurring fluoride especially compared to some areas. The idea of adding fluoride to public drinking water supplies is nothing new as research has been on-going over the past 50 years and it’s quite a controversial subject. While some people may be happy for fluoride to be added to the drinking water, others are completely against it. Fluoride may be toxic if ingested in sufficient quantities, but public water supplies are strictly monitored. At the moment approximately 12% of the population in the UK have access to fluoridated water, and only the water in Hartlepool and Essex contains enough natural fluoride to be beneficial to teeth.
Numerous studies have found fluoride to be safe, and a recent Australian study has found even more evidence that fluoride can help prevent tooth decay in adults regardless of whether they began drinking fluoridated water in childhood. The chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, certainly feels that fluoride has been very important in improving oral health in the UK and that generally speaking the UK would support fluoridation. He feels it would be the most important measure that the UK government could make to improve the country’s dental health and has pointed out that the addition of fluoride toothpaste has reduced tooth decay by up to 50%.
Receiving Adequate Fluoride through Dental Care and Diet
Even though Leeds has low levels of naturally occurring fluoride it is still possible to receive adequate amounts through your diet, and through using fluoridated dental care products. Fluoride is found in many vegetables as well as some fruit juices and even in certain cereals. You are almost certainly using fluoridated toothpaste, and some people may choose to prolong the effects by using fluoride mouthwash.
This will be enough for many people, especially when combined with regular dental care checks at Leeds City Dentalcare. Dr David Brown or any of the dental team here in Leeds is more than happy to give patients advice on which products may suit their dental needs, and how to lower the risk of tooth decay through having a great oral hygiene regime at home.
It’s certainly true that fluoride can help to strengthen the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay, but the benefits provided through brushing and flossing your teeth properly account for a great deal. If we think you are at risk of tooth decay then we may suggest additional fluoride treatments to help strengthen your tooth enamel. We may prescribe fluoride treatment at the end of your dental checkup or professional cleaning just to give you an extra boost. Fluoride can be supplied in a number of ways as it can be used in dental trays, or it can be painted onto the teeth as fluoride varnish.
Our dentist in Leeds can also advise you on the use of fluoride products for children as we may not recommend you use fluoride toothpaste before your child is able to spit out the excess, and if you choose to use fluoride mouthwash then it should be kept out of the reach of very young children just in case they think it looks good enough to drink.