Fluoride and Protecting Teeth From Cavities

It is a well-known fact that fluoride protects teeth from cavities. And it’s well-known because we see fluoride all around-in toothpastes, in mouthwashes, at the dentist’s as part of your routine treatment. It’s too well-known, perhaps, that it’s often taken for granted until a directly involving situation arises, like when water fluoridation issues or cases of Fluorosis arise.
In the early 1900s, a dentist named Frederick McKay moved into town from the East Coast to practice in Colorado Springs. He noticed that the locals, especially children, had mottled teeth, which later became known as the Colorado Brown Stain. What was amazing was that however mottled the teeth were, they seemed invincible to tooth decay, which was then the common dental issue.
After 30 years of colorful research on the part of Dr. McKay and other doctors and scientists, they found out that the mottling was caused by high amounts of fluoride in the drinking water. The fluoride broke down the tooth enamel and made it more susceptible to picking up stains. This case is now called Fluorosis.
But as was noticed by the Colorado Springs dentist Dr. McKay, the mottled teeth of the Colorado Springs locals had no cavities, thus the intriguing inference that Oral Care Kit fluoride protected teeth from cavities. And this was when they started thinking about the possibility of using small amounts of fluoride to protect tooth enamel.
The first city ever to approve the fluoridation of their drinking water was Grand Rapids in Michigan when Dr. H. Trendley Dean, through the studies of the Colorado Springs dentist Dr. McKay, proved that fluoride can indeed safely protect Cavity Filling teeth if administered in small amounts in the drinking water. Dr Dean developed a tool to measure the small amount of fluoride in the water. He discovered that the safest amount would be 1ppm (part per million) parts of water.
Today, many a Colorado Springs dentist still promote the importance of fluoride, especially in pediatric dentistry, following the life achievement of Dr. McKay. And nowadays, fluoride can also be administered through topical application in the form of sealants, and this mode is used by dentists all over the world.

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