Fluoridated water

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Updated: 1/14/2003 1:29 pm Published: 1/14/2003 1:29 pm

Fluoride is a compound of the chemical element fluorine (FLOOR-een) that's found in water, soil, air, and most foods. Fluoride is easily absorbed into your tooth enamel, making adult teeth more resistant to tooth decay. It also promotes the healing of a decayed tooth even before the decay is noticeable. Most of the water that you drink is fluoridated by standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA (E-P-A). The EPA has determined the optimal level of fluoride that's safe to drink and how much is needed as a preventive measure for your dental health. Public fluoridated water is considered the most cost effective and efficient dental care prevention measure available. Too much fluoride can cause a discoloration of your teeth or mottling of the enamel. A child's developing teeth are more susceptible to high fluoride levels than an adult's. If you're concerned about the fluoride levels in your drinking water, your local public water department can supply a fluoride content analysis. If you have a home water filter, check to see if it removes fluoride from your water. If so, inform your dentist, as you may need fluoride treatment from another source. In conclusion, the EPA has set fluoridation standards for your drinking water to meet both your oral and general health standards. Discuss any concerns with your dentist.

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