Schedule Online Schedule Online Like Us Like us on Facebook Reviews Read Our Reviews Call Give us a Call Map View our Map
Call Now!
Click Here to See our Advanced COVID Safety Protocols

The History and Benefits of Fluoride

March 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — bridgemill @ 8:10 pm
toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste

The Center for Disease Control has described water fluoridation as one of the 10 most important public health advances of the 20th century, but how did this come about? How long have people known about the benefits of fluoride? When was it discovered? Continue reading to learn more from your dentist in Indian Land about fluoride history and how it can benefit your smile.

Brown Teeth Due to…Pork?!

Fluoride history dates back to 1901 when residents of Colorado Springs encountered mysterious staining of their teeth. A young dental school graduate, Frederick McKay, began reporting the strange occurrence after observing the teeth of locals. Some of them had stains so dark it appeared they were coated in chocolate.

At the time, there was no mention of brown-stained teeth in dental literature, so residents created reasons of their own. This included weird factors like drinking inferior milk and eating too much pork.

The Colorado Brown Stain

To get to the root of this phenomenon, McKay collaborated with Dr. G.V. Black. Through research, they determined that 90 percent of locally born children had these stains on their teeth. They discovered the people dealing with the Colorado Brown Stain were surprisingly resistant to tooth decay.

After more years of research and a similar case occurring in Bauxite, Arkansas, it was concluded the staining was caused by high fluoride levels in the water supply. The people in Colorado and Arkansas were affected by fluorosis, which is caused by overexposure to fluoride when the permanent teeth are being formed.

Fluoride Added to Drinking Water

Building off the findings in those states, The National Institute of Health developed an accurate method to measure fluoride levels in water. It was determined water that contained fluoride levels up to 1.0 parts per million did not cause enamel fluorosis.

To test whether adding fluoride to drinking water at physically and cosmetically safe levels would help fight against tooth decay, Grand Rapids Michigan voted in favor of adding fluoride to drinking water in 1945. After only 11 years, it was announced that the cavity rate among children dropped more than 60 percent.

Now, fluoride is widely acknowledged to protect teeth against decay. Many more towns and cities have opted to add safe levels of fluoride to their water supply. Most dental products, like toothpaste and mouthwash, contain fluoride to help improve oral health.

What Are Fluoride Benefits?

Fluoride is beneficial to your teeth in several ways:

  • Reverses early signs of tooth decay
  • Prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth
  • Slows down the loss of minerals from the enamel
  • Remineralizes weakened enamel

Now that you know more about fluoride history, you can see how it makes a big difference in the strength of your smile. Check to see if your community adds fluoride to the water supply and be sure to purchase dental products that contain it. Your teeth will thank you!

About the Author

Dr. James Candon earned his dental doctorate from the University of Maryland. He really enjoys helping patients with a high degree of dental fear feel more comfortable about treatments. Dr. Candon met his wife, Dr. Lisa Candon, in dental school. He will be happy to further discuss the benefits of fluoride during your next dental checkup and cleaning which you can schedule on his website or by calling (803) 650-3925.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.