No Fluoride Means More Cavities
Community water fluoridation prevents cavities in children. That is the conclusion of a team of medical researchers from the University of Alaska and Walden University in Minnesota in a recently published study. The report examined statistics for the city of Juneau, Alaska, and found that the incidence of cavities increased after the fluoridation of municipal water supplies was halted. This study adds to the large body of evidence demonstrating that water fluoridation is beneficial for oral health.
How Juneau Lost Water Fluoridation
Without public discussion, the Juneau Public Works Department ceased water fluoridation in 2003. Despite a campaign by local dentists and the American Dental Association, city politicians and voters declined to restart the public health program. After a period of time, local dentists started to see an increase in cavities. For example, David Logan, now head of the Alaska Dental Society, stated on Alaska Public Media in 2017: “My own observation in the younger population, there was an uptick, no question about that. You pretty much have to set the clock at the day the fluoride came out of the water. And then you advance forward until you start seeing teeth erupt. The six-year molars no question, saw an uptick in cavities.” Like Logan, other dentists also fear that as the youngsters who grew up without fluoridated water continue to grow older, they will go on experiencing more cavities than the older generation that lived with this community benefit.
Before researchers examined the issue, dentists had little more than the numbers from their own practices to demonstrate this new problem. Many fluoride opponents dismissed the dental claims as merely “anecdotal evidence.” The results publicized by the University of Alaska now back up the testimony of local dental practitioners. To do this, the study looked at the number of cavities in childhood Medicaid recipients in 2003, and again in 2012. Over that time, the number of cavities increased by an average of one per child per year (italics ours). Therefore, using the Juneau numbers, a child is 25% more likely to experience serious tooth decay if they do not have access to fluoridated water.
Water Fluoridation in Sacramento
In the County of Sacramento, the amount of fluoride in your water supply is determined by where you live. Although some of our more than twenty local water districts provide fluoridated water, others do not. To determine whether or not there is water in your home supply, you must contact your water supplier or investigate the issue on their website. To do that, visit the Sacramento County website and search for your water district by using your address.
In the meantime, always make sure to practice daily oral hygiene and make certain that your children do the same. Schedule regular visits to the Sacramento Dentistry Group. And discuss with your dentist or hygienist whether or not you and your family receive enough fluoride from your daily regimen. Also, search for the topic of “Fluoride” here on our website to see the many informational articles on this subject.