What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil, water, and some foods. This mineral is also commonly added to tap water to help prevent tooth decay (cavities), by strengthening tooth enamel against acids causing decay.
Does the drinking water in Windsor-Essex contain fluoride?
In January of 2013, Windsor City Council voted to remove fluoride from local drinking water. Currently, the decision to add fluoride to community water systems occurs at the municipal level. Health Canada provides the guidelines for fluoride levels in drinking water at a Maximum Acceptable Concentration of 1.5 mg/L. Water that is at or below this recommendation poses no risk to human health. However, the optimal concentration of fluoride in drinking water to support good dental health is 0.7 mg/L. View Health Canada's information on fluoride.
Can too much fluoride be harmful?
For children under the age of eight, exposure to fluoride amounts beyond the recommended levels increases the risk of developing fluorosis, a discoloration of the tooth enamel.
How can I manage my fluoride intake?
To maximize the benefits of fluoride and to avoid potential harmful effects, follow the guidelines listed below:
- Children under three years old should have their teeth and gums brushed by an adult using only water, unless at risk (i.e. there is no fluoride in the drinking water). If at risk, fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice should be smeared onto the tooth brush.
- Children three to six years old should be assisted with brushing their teeth and should only use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Adults require no additional fluoride treatments (other than using fluoride toothpaste) unless advised by their dental professional.