Flouride and Fluorosis
Most people know what fluoride is but still have a lot of questions about it. Fluoride was put into the water supply starting over fifty years ago. Since that time we have seen a fifty percent drop in the number of cavities. There is no doubt that the use of fluoride has helped children and adults from numerous visits to the dentist. Whereas a little fluoride goes a long way in preventing decay, we also know that the adage “everything in moderation” also applies to it.
Recently, the government has started reviewing fluoride in an attempt to lower the amount in water. Studies have shown that the amount of tooth fluorosis have increased since the addition of fluoride. Most cities have known about these studies years before and have since lowered their fluoride levels, especially in the summer months when water consumption goes up.
Amarillo and its surrounding areas have never had to add fluoride to its water supply. The substance is found naturally in the city and well water. While the governments recommendation will fall, the city water in Amarillo is higher than the new recommendation levels.
But what if I am outside the city? Well water can vary in its fluoride levels. Many wells outside the city show fluoride levels that are higher than recommended. While that may seem like a good thing, children are still growing, and their adult teeth that you cannot see are taking in minerals as they form. When children’s fluoride levels get too high as their permanent teeth are developing you can have what is known as fluorosis.
Fluorosis can affect the teeth by causing pitting and spotting. While fluorosis makes the teeth harder to decay it can greatly effect their look.
For many children in the area we recommend bottled water during their young age. Don’t be afraid to turn on the tap water, just use it in moderation. This way kids will get the fluoride they need for their teeth and prevent them from developing fluorosis.
If you have any questions about fluoride just ask your childs pediatric dentist. You can also contact the City of Amarillo Utilities Division about obtaining a fluoride testing kit for your water.