Fluoride & Preventing Cavities

At Parkland Mall Dental Centre, Red Deer, Alberta is not just where we work, but where we live as well. As dental professionals at Parkland Mall Dental Center in Red Deer, we understand the benefits of and support the use of fluoride for the prevention of dental cavities.

The cavity prevention benefits of fluoride is evidence based and is endorsed by over 90 national and international professional health organizations, including Health Canada, the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Dental Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the World Health Organization.

However, it is not without controversy. Calgary decided to discontinue fluoride from drinking water in 2011. The City of Red Deer continues to add fluoride to treated drinking water as directed by Alberta Environment and Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. In Red Deer, former mayor Morris Flewwelling notes that the city spent two years and $75,000 reviewing the issue before deciding to keep the practice of water fluoridation.

“I think we looked at Calgary and we felt their process was hurried and flawed,” he told Maclean’s Magazine in 2013. He may be right, according to a CBC News report of December 8, 2014 pediatric dentists suggest that cavities in kids are on the rise 3 years after Calgary stopped adding fluoride to drinking water.

So what is fluoride? According to Health Canada, fluoride is a natural element that is found in soil, water (both fresh and salt) and in various foods. Fluorides work by protecting tooth enamel against the acids that cause tooth decay.

Fluoridation is a process of adjusting the concentration of fluoride in drinking water to a level that provides optimal dental benefits. Health Canada has established1.5 milligrams per litre as the maximum acceptable concentration of fluoride with an optimal concentration of 0.7mg/L to promote dental health. About 45 per cent of Canadians receive fluoridated water. The fluoridation of drinking water supplies is a decision that is made by each municipality, in collaboration with the appropriate provincial or territorial authority.

Concerns include dental fluorosis, an esthetic change with small white specks appearing on a child’s teeth, often caused when higher than optimal amounts of fluoride are swallowed (often from tooth paste) in early childhood. The Canadian Health Measures Survey 2007-2009 found that dental fluorosis is not an issue of concern for the vast majority of children (84%). Some children (16%) have mild forms of fluorosis that often go unnoticed by both the children and their parents.

Whether you have a dental emergency, a toothache, a general checkup need, or want to discuss your dental health – our Parkland Mall Dental Centre team of professionals are here to service you or your family members need; visit our Red Deer dentist office or call today to set an appointment at 403-342-1118.

New patients are always welcome.