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Water fluoridation

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Water fluoridation
Fluoride in Water Prevents Adult Tooth Loss, Study Suggests
Children drinking water with added fluoride helps dental health in adulthood decades later, a new study finds.

In an article appearing in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health, Matthew Neidell reports a strong relationship between fluoride levels in a resident's county at the time of their birth with tooth loss as an adult.

"Your fluoridation exposure at birth is affecting your tooth loss in your 40s and 50s, regardless of what your fluoridation exposure was like when you were 20 and 30 years old," said Neidell, a health policy professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

He combined data from a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention community health study and a water census to see the impact of drinking fluoridated water in the 1950s and 1960s on tooth loss in the 1990s.

"We know that the benefits of fluoridation are greatest from birth," said Howard Pollick, a professor of clinical dentistry at the University of California, San Francisco. "This recent study adds credence to that."

For children whose adult teeth haven't shown yet, fluoride still improves tooth enamel, the highly mineralized tissue on teeth's surface. Fluoride also helps teeth damaged from the decay process and breaks down bacteria on teeth.



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