To maintain better oral hygiene and practice proper dental care, it is important to be properly educated about the benefits of fluoride toothpaste and fluoride in drinking water. Fluoride is a mineral found in most toothpastes that helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay.
In an effort to help ensure the dental health of a community, fluoride in drinking water is also endorsed by the majority of health and safety-related organizations around the world. According to the American Dental Association, more than 144 million U.S. residents in more than 10,000 communities drink fluoridated water, most from public water supplies with sodium fluoride added artificially.
There is a concern that individuals who drink only bottled water or who use home treatment systems will be missing the vital component of fluoride in drinking water from the tap, and that fluoride toothpaste may not be enough to provide the maximum value.
However, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it may be possible to receive too much fluoride—a child may face a condition called enamel fluorosis if he or she receives too much fluoride during the years of tooth development, possibly resulting in defects in tooth enamel.
If you want to discover if there is fluoride in your drinking water, you can find out by visiting a new Web site at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new feature, "My Water`s Fluoride," allows consumers in participating states to check out basic information about their water system, including the number of people served by the system and the target fluoridation level. Optimal levels recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service and CDC for drinking water range from 0.7 parts per million (ppm) for warmer climates, to 1.2 ppm for cooler climates accounting for the tendency to drink more water in warmer climates.