Our dental office’s patients from Leominster and Sterling, may not be aware that the water in their taps is not fluoridated. Fluoride has been shown to help combat tooth decay for decades now, but since the water in Leominster and Sterling is not fluoridated the protective benefits are missing. While some fluoride may exist naturally in the towns’ waters, it’s not at a high enough level to provide protection.
It’s up to each community to decide whether to fluoridate their water but here are some things worth considering before deciding on fluoridating the water for Sterling and Leominster:
- Fluoridation is Linked to Less Tooth Decay – An extremely comprehensive review of the research related to fluoridation by scientists at the University of York found that fluoridating water reduces dental caries. This conclusion was based on many studies about starting and stopping water fluoridation in various communities.
- Fluoridation is Worth the Cost – One argument people have against fluoridation is that they would rather spend tax money on something else. The flaw with this logic is that the costs associated with the additional restorative dental care outweigh the cost of the fluoridation. One study found that fluoridating water can result in savings of $32.19 per capita per year, which considering the cost of fluoridation results in a 20 times return on investment.
- Fluoridation Has Little to No Negative Impact – The scientists that put together the York fluoridation review study found only one downside to fluoridation. For a small percentage of the population fluoridated water contributed to dental fluorosis that impacted the esthetics of the smile. If you live in a community that fluoridates water it may be worth reducing intake of other sources of fluoride in children, such as fluoridated toothpaste. Consult with your dentist before starting or stopping the use of fluoridated toothpaste. Considering the small percentage of the population that are effected, the preventability by reducing other sources of fluoride, and the mostly cosmetic nature of the condition, many have concluded it to be worth it.
If you live in a community like Sterling or Leominster that does not fluoridate water, make sure to talk to your dentist about your fluoridation concerns. Book a consultation with one of our dentists if you’re interested in learning more about the impact of water fluoridation on oral health.