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How does it work? | Water fluoridation

Tooth imageWater fluoridation combats tooth decay in three ways: it helps make teeth more decay resistant, helps get rid of early decay before it becomes permanent and helps stop bacteria in the mouth producing acids, which leads to tooth decay.

Tooth decay is caused by acid build-up from sugars and bacteria, which attack the outer surface of the tooth. Teeth need small amounts of fluoride throughout the day for the whole of their life to help prevent tooth decay. Once you stop drinking fluoridated water, your teeth stop being protected from this source. The continual protection of fluoridated water is one of the reasons it is much more effective at reducing tooth decay than fluoride tablets or drops.

Water fluoridation: the constant repair kit for teeth - which fights tooth decay in three ways

Tooth image

 Tooth image Tooth image
1 Almost every time we eat the bacteria in our mouth create acid which draws the minerals out of our tooth enamel making it weak.  2 If these attacks continue without repair, the enamel breaks down and becomes decayed.  3 When we drink fluoridated water or brush with fluoride toothpaste, the lost minerals are replaced with fluoride and the enamel is repaired. If we are able to replace the minerals each time they are drawn out of the enamel, the tooth remains healthy and does not become decayed.
Last updated: 11 December 2010