Fluoridation of our water is the major reason for a reduction in dental decay in our population.
Children whose enamel is not yet fully formed and who don’t live in a place where water is fluoridated have the option of getting fluoride by mouth, under supervision. Fluoride is available as a topical treatment in the dental office for children and adults.
But for the general population who may or may not have the ability or desire to receive fluoride as the tooth enamel is forming or who do not want fluoride protection for their teeth as adults, the threat of tooth decay is real.
Tooth enamel is constantly under the threat of breaking down as we age. Our diet, dry mouth, gum recession, poor fillings and inadequate dental care take a terrible toll on our teeth. Just ask a friend or family member whose teeth are missing because of decay. The risk is lifelong.
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We need to pay attention to public health interventions that are under threat because of inadequate funding and/or lack of attention to information that requires adjustment to the use of these interventions. As wonderful as it is to live in a free society, it is imperative that this freedom does not undermine the health of our society.
The writer is a registered dental hygienist.