The History of Fluoride

The History of Fluoride

When you brush your teeth, choose your toothpaste or visit your local dentist and have a fluoride treatment did you ever consider what fluoride is or how it was discovered? Fluoride is a form of a chemical element referred to as fluorine. It is added to drinking water, toothpaste and mouthwashes to prevent tooth decay. It also is a medicine used to treat disorders such as osteoporosis, arthritis and Crohn’s disease. 

At Arena Family Dentistry in Worcester, we can ensure that you are getting the proper amount of fluoride. If you need X-rays in Worcester or a friendly family clinic in Worcester, Arena Family Dental can tend to all your dental needs. 

In 1901 Fluoride Research Began

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, fluoride got its start back in 1901 with the help of a young dental graduate named Frederick McKay. After moving to Colorado, McKay discovered many residents with brown stained teeth. By the 1930’s it was determined that fluoride levels of 1.0 ppm in drinking water did not cause enamel fluorosis in most people. Fluorosis is the diagnosis given to people with discolored teeth caused by overexposure to fluoride during the first eight years of life.  Visit Arena Family Dental in Worcester to ensure your family has no issues with fluorosis. 

The Results

In 1944 Grand Rapids Michigan add fluoride added to its public water to test the theory’s. Researchers studied the situation for fifteen years and noted that children born after fluoride was added to the water supply had a 60% decrease in fluorosis. This was a breakthrough that revolutionized dental care and it made tooth decay a preventable disease. 

What We Know Today:

  • Today we know that fluoride can decrease the acid production of plaque. 
  • It helps children while their permanent teeth develop.
  • It incorporates itself into our teeth everyday through remineralization.


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