Fluoride helps strengthen the structure of the tooth and to repair damage to the enamel from acids in the mouth. Having healthy teeth is critical for healthy nutrition and self-esteem as well as reducing pain and tooth loss that can result from dental decay.
Fluoride strengthens teeth in 2 ways:
- Fluoride that is swallowed (systemic fluoride) is absorbed by forming teeth and is present in saliva.
- Fluoride in the form of varnishes, gel rinses and toothpaste (topical) can reverse the early stages of tooth decay in people of all ages.
Community Water Fluoridation
Fluoridation of community water systems is an often overlooked but very important part of the strategy to improve the dental health of the population. The major advantage of community fluoridation is that it benefits all community members. While some people maintain good oral health and visit dental professionals on a regular basis others don’t and cannot access services for financial reasons.
All water contains some naturally occurring fluoride, nut usually at levels too low to prevent tooth decay. The therapeutic range is from 0.6 to 0.8 parts per million and the Maximum Acceptable Concentration (MAC) of is 1.5 parts per million.
The Health Unit monitors all community water supply systems and fluoride concentration data is sent to the board of health on a monthly basis. Where necessary, action shall be taken in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water and Fluoride Monitoring Protocol, 2018.