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Q: What’s the most efficient way to keep kids’ teeth strong?

Posted December 25, 2013 in Altoona, Advice Column, Pleasant Hill

A: Drinking tap water is a good way to keep children’s teeth strong and cut down on both dental disease and costs, according to study results published earlier this year. More than 144 million Americans in more than 10,000 communities drink fluoridated tap water on a daily basis. Fluoride is proven effective in helping prevent tooth decay.

According to a study published earlier this year in the peer-reviewed journal “General Dentistry,” researchers found fluoridated public water supplies are a cost-effective way to protect children’s teeth.

“Fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before damage is even visible,” says C.H. Chu, lead author of the study.

Given that tooth decay affects children in the U.S. more than any other chronic infectious disease, any steps that help are welcome. Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods. Not only is it good for your teeth, it helps ward off osteoporosis, a disorder in which bones become porous and brittle. Talk with your dentist about the benefits of fluoride.

Information provided by Dr. Eric Forsberg, DDS, Altoona Smiles, 950 28th Ave. S.W., Altoona, 515-967-3046.

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