Did you know that 92% of adults will experience tooth decay? Cavities are more common than childhood asthma. Although good oral hygiene and regular dental care can lessen your risk of decay, there’s another secret to a cavity-free smile. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter. It makes enamel more resistant to bacteria that can erode your enamel. Not only can it prevent cavities, but it can also reverse the early stages of enamel loss. Fluoride is added to many dental products, but it is also in many public water sources. Here’s how drinking from the tap can keep your pearly whites strong and healthy.
Cavity-Fighting Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride is supported by over 7 decades of scientific evidence supporting its safety and effectiveness when used to prevent tooth decay. Research has shown that fluoride in local water sources can decrease the risk of decay by up to 25%. The mineral is found in groundwater and oceans naturally, but it has also been added to public water sources since 1945 because of its benefits. Grand Rapids was the first community to embrace fluoridated water. Today, over 75% of water supplied in the U.S. contains fluoride.
Healthcare and dental professionals recommend drinking tap water whenever possible. You’ll keep your body hydrated and ensure your enamel is strong.
Protect Your Smile from Cavities
Besides drinking tap water, good oral hygiene is important for cavity prevention. Brush your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss your teeth at least once daily.
Limit your consumption of sugars and starches, which feed cavity-causing bacteria. Avoid sugary foods and drinks. If you can’t resist something sweet, rinse your mouth with water after you’ve finished.
Don’t forget to schedule a cleaning and checkup with your dentist. They’ll clean and polish your teeth to ensure they look their best. Your dentist will examine your mouth to look for anything concerning, like enamel loss. They’ll provide the quick treatment you need to keep your mouth healthy. Your dentist may recommend additional treatments if you’re prone to decay, like dental sealants or fluoride varnish.
Although cavities are common, they are preventable. Commit to good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular dental care. Drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of tap water every day to keep your mouth moist and your teeth healthy.
About Dr. Eunyoung Shim
Dr. Shim achieved her dental degree from the New York University College of Dentistry and has regularly continued her education in many specialties. She is affiliated with several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. Request an appointment through her website or call (469) 208-6017 to schedule a cleaning and checkup.