Fluoride is found naturally in many water sources, including the oceans and freshwater lakes. It can also be found in certain types of rocks and soil. Fluoride occurs in two main forms, namely fluorapatite, and fluorspar. Fluorapatite is the form of fluoride that is found naturally in most rocks and minerals. Fluorspar, on the other hand, is a form of fluoride mined specifically for industrial use. In its purest form, fluoride is a white, crystalline solid.
The decision to add fluoride to water is typically made at the state or local level. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that water supplies contain 0.7 mg of fluoride for every liter of water. Direct fluoridation involves adding fluoride directly to the water supply. This method is typically used when a community’s water source does not contain enough naturally occurring fluoride to meet the CDC’s recommended level.
Indirect fluoridation, on the other hand, involves adding fluoridated salt or fluorinated chemicals to the water supply. This method is typically used when a community’s water source contains too much naturally occurring fluoride or when direct fluoridation is impossible for some other reason.
Reduces the Risk of Cavities
Cavities are a common oral health problem that people face and can be extremely painful. Fortunately, there are things that people can do to reduce their risk of developing cavities, and one of those things is to use fluoride.
Fluoride is effective in reducing the risk of cavities. When fluoride is added to water supplies, it helps create a fluoride reservoir in the mouth that can re-mineralize, or repair areas of the tooth enamel damaged by acids.
Fluoride also makes it more difficult for bacteria to stick to teeth and has been shown to reduce the rate at which cavities develop. Several studies have shown that community water fluoridation significantly reduces cavities.
This mineral is safe and effective when used as recommended, and it is one of the most affordable ways to prevent cavities. There are many ways to get fluoride, such as through dietary supplements, toothpaste, mouth rinses, and professionally applied fluoride treatments.