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Fluoride is known as “nature’s cavity fighter” as it helps fight tooth decay before it is even visible to the human eye. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste, drinking fluoride water, and using other fluoride-based hygiene tools help strengthen the enamel on your teeth, protecting your teeth against bacteria and disease.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that community water systems have .7 mg/L of fluoride to reach optimal disease-fighting levels.

What difference does a little amount of fluoride make?

Before the water fluoridation recommendation took effect, children were having almost three times as many cavities as they have had since the recommendation.

Water fluoridation is one of the most cost-effective ways to benefit the greatest number of people in preventing tooth decay, cavity, and gum disease. The average cost ranges from 50 cents per year per person in large communities to three dollars per year per person in smaller companies. According to the ADA, every one dollar invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental costs.

How much fluoride do I need to reduce the chance of dental decay?
The amount of fluoride that can be safely consumed relies on the age of the patient. The following table breaks down by age group, weight, how much fluoride is necessary, and how much fluoride they can tolerate.

Infants 0-6 months 7 lbs. .01 .7
Infants 7-12 months 9 lbs. .5 .9
Children 1-3 years 13 lbs. .7 1.3
Children 4-8 years 22 lbs. 1.0 2.2
Children 9-13 years 40 lbs. 2.0 10.0
Boys 14-18 years 64 lbs. 3.0 10.0
Girls 14-18 years 57 lbs. 3.0 10.0
Males 19+ years 76 lbs. 4.0 10.0
Females 19+ years 61 lbs. 3.0 10.0