fluoridation

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fluoridation

 [floor″-ĭ-da´shun]
treatment with fluorides; the addition of fluorides to community drinking water as a measure to reduce the incidence of dental caries. Minute traces of fluoride are found in almost all food, but the quantity apparently is too small to meet the requirements of the body in building tooth enamel that resists cavities. Drinking water containing one part fluoride to one million parts of water does meet this need and has been found to reduce tooth decay in children by as much as 40 per cent. Since few natural water supplies contain the necessary amount of fluoride, it usually must be added if protection against tooth decay is desired. Statistics indicate that 20 per cent of the teenagers who drank fluoridated water from birth have teeth totally free of caries. The practice of fluoridating water is rated among the most cost-effective preventive programs in public health.

There also is evidence that topically applied fluoride solutions help alleviate periodontal disease by removing bacteria from the site and rebuilding supporting bone tissue around the teeth. Dental professionals may apply fluoride solutions directly to a child's teeth, beginning at age 5 or 6 and repeating the treatment each year throughout life. This has been found to reduce caries by about 40 per cent.

The dentist or other health care provider may prescribe chewable fluoride tablets if fluoride is not available in drinking water. However, use of these tablets must be carefully supervised, since an excess of fluoride causes dental fluorosis. Like most medicines, fluoride in large amounts is a poison. A dentifrice containing fluoride, or fluoride in gel form, may also prove effective. A dentist or dental hygienist should be consulted before any fluoride preparation is used.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

fluor·i·da·tion

(flōr'i-dā'shŭn),
Addition of fluorides to a community water supply, usually about 1 ppm, to reduce incidence of dental decay.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

fluoridation

The addition of small amounts of fluoride to drinking water to reduce the incidence of cavities.
 
Fringe medicine
It is widely believed by those interested in alternative health that the addition of fluoride to the drinking water causes AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, birth defects, cancer and a wide range of other conditions.
 
Public health
While most data suggest that fluoridation may reduce the incidence of caries, it is unclear whether fluoride actually has this effect; soft data suggest possible carcinogenesis. More than 1/2 of the US water supply has > 0.7 ppm of fluoride, a level that is considered adequate to reduce the incidence of caries.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

fluor·i·da·tion

(flōr'i-dā'shŭn)
Addition of fluorides to a community water supply, usually 1 ppm or less, to reduce incidence of dental decay.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

fluoridation

Deliberate addition of fluorine compounds to drinking water supplies in areas in which the water is low in fluoride. The presence of about one part of fluoride per million parts of water promotes stronger and healthier teeth with reduced tendency to tooth decay. Fluoridation is a valuable public health measure.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

fluoridation

the addition of a fluoride, usually sodium fluoride, to drinking water in a concentration of about 1 ppm, in order to reduce the decay of teeth. Teeth may also be treated directly with a fluoride gel by the dentist, and this is usually undertaken as a treatment for children.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005

fluor·i·da·tion

(flōr'i-dā'shŭn)
Addition of fluorides to a community water supply, usually about 1 ppm, to reduce incidence of dental decay.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
Caption: There is a lack of information on what happens to children's teeth when water fluoridation is banned.
Over the past seven decades, water fluoridation has played an important role in the dramatic reduction of tooth decay and has been identified by CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
Despite concerns regarding water fluoridation, the majority of public health officials have concluded that water fluoridation at optimal levels is safe and effective.
However, on the other side of the debate, prominent experts and critics of water fluoridation cited health dangers, the immorality of forcing individuals to consume medication without informed consent and potentially at inappropriate levels, the costs of the program to taxpayers, the alleged lack of dental benefits, and more.
WATER fluoridation costs the taxpayer more than [euro]3million a year, new figures reveal.
He approached the Grand Rapids City Commission with the proposal that their city serve as the proving ground to test whether community water fluoridation was a feasible means of reducing tooth decay.
The National Pure Water Association in the UK have been driving the campaign against this "unethical enforced medication of our water supplies" together with other groups around the country and worldwide calling for a repeal of all legislation underpinning artificial water fluoridation.
Youngsters living in areas where water fluoridation schemes are in place - such as Coventry and Warwickshire - are less likely to have tooth decay than those in other regions, according to a Public Health England report.
The spokeswoman said: "While an estimate of savings is not readily available, these studies show the benefits of water fluoridation in Ireland since its introduction.
The cariostatic benefit from water fluoridation is indisputable, but there has been debate over the past 60 years on possible adverse effects from fluoride on human health.
(1) Fluoride Action Network (2005) Water fluoridation "obsolete" according to Nobel Prize scientist.