Happy New Year!
Listed below are three random facts that are relevant to mouths and dentistry, procured from my inbox:
1. Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent.
2. The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.
3. Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.
Hooray for the oral cavity and its uniqueness!
Here’s to another year of dental health and great smiles.
December 5, 2016 is the date when areas of Santa Clara County will begin receiving fluoridated water.
Here are the zip codes of fully or partially fluoridated water as of December 5, 2016:
94022 94024 94028 94040 94041
94043 94085 94086 94089 94301
94303 94304 94305 94306 95002
95008 95032 95035 95054 95111
95112 95116 95118 95120 95121
95122 95123 95124 95125 95127
95131 95132 95133 95134 95135
95136 95138 95148
Interestingly enough, the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) voted to fluoridate its water five years ago, in 2011. It has taken this long to fund and implement the change. Fluoridation for the entire county is expected to be complete by 2020.
Non-fluoridated zip codes:
94087 95013 95014 95020 95030
95037 95046 95050 95051 95053
95070 95110 95113 95117 95119
95126 95128 95129 95130 95139
94550 95023 95033 95140 95141
If you live in an area that will be newly fluoridated, we recommend that you discontinue your children’s fluoride supplements starting in December. (Fluoride drops or fluoride in vitamins are regularly prescribed when drinking water is non-fluoridated.)
Questions? The SCVWD has a great website: http://www.valleywater.org/services/Fluoridation.aspx
Question: Is the water in the South Bay fluoridated?
Answer: It’s complicated.
First, some background info. What’s the big deal about fluoride?
Fluoride has been shown to be a player in the fight against tooth decay (i.e., cavities). Fluoride gives teeth resistance to acid attack from the bacteria in plaque. It also reverses early decay by remineralizing the enamel of your teeth.
Fluoride comes in two forms: topical and ingested. The topicals are toothpastes, mouth rinses and in-office varnish we paint on your teeth. Ingested fluorides are swallowed, like supplements and fluoridated water.
20-40% = the decrease in tooth decay when fluoride is added to a community water supply.
So…….fluoride in your water IS a big deal because it helps you, and everyone else in town, not get cavities. It really works!
Is it safe? Yes. “After 60 years of research and practical experience, the preponderance of scientific evidence indicates…..(fluoride is) both safe and effective”, says the American Dental Association website: http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member%20Center/FIles/fluoridation_facts.pdf?la=en
Fun fact: The CDC has proclaimed community water fluoridation as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
Not-so-fun fact: San Jose is the largest city in the US without fluoridated water.
But that is about to change! Stay tuned.
To floss or not to floss – continued….
The Best comment I have regarding last week’s flossing news is from Emily Willingham of Forbes Magazine: “I would like to urge the people of Earth to please continue flossing their teeth or using something to clean between them, if possible… Unless you are Gollum, you probably get food bits stuck between your teeth that toothbrushes, no matter how good you are with them, aren’t gonna get out…The story questioning the benefits of flossing doesn’t actually say that flossing has no benefits.”
Flossing not beneficial? Balderdash!
It was hard not to miss this morning’s front page Mercury News treatment of the latest dental bombshell:
The federal government, after compiling studies on flossing, said there’s little or no evidence it benefits dental health and has stopped recommending its use.
The article goes on to say the Associated Press examined the research and failed to find convincing evidence that flossing is effective. The studies found were “weak, unreliable,” and of “very low” quality.
What do we, who spend our days in the dental trenches say in response?
First, after looking in mouths for 30+ years, we can unequivocally state that regular flossing greatly reduces plaque buildup, prevents cavities, and keeps gums healthier than they would ever be without said flossing.
Second, perhaps this Flossing Kerfuffle is a benefit in disguise since it will create new dialogue in what has been a tired old story since 1979 (the year the government began recommending that Americans floss every day). How many times a day do we hear, “I know I should floss, but I haven’t been doing it.” Now we can replace the guilt with an honest to goodness conversation about why we think floss is still one of the most important tools in the oral health toolbox. It will become not just a duty one has to endure, but a free will act of self- care that will help reduce bleeding, save jawbone and keep teeth comfortable and functional for life.
What’s not to like about that?
Thank you, U.S. government!
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