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Fluoride

Fluorides are naturally occurring minerals known for preventing tooth cavities. A common way for people to get fluoride is through drinking water. It is often added to drinking water by community water systems when concentrations are very low. Private well owners need to test their water to know the concentrations.
As part of our private wells initiative, available fluoride data from private wells is regularly mapped to aide dental professionals and private well owners in decision making about fluoride treatments.

Learn more about private wells and drinking water quality.

A community water system is a type of public water system that supplies water for human consumption to at least 15 service connections and more than 25 people year-round. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) sets regulations for monitoring and treating drinking water delivered by these systems. There are water quality standards and monitoring requirements for over 90 constituents. NM EPHT provides indicator report for some constituents found in community water systems in New Mexico.

Learn more about community water systems in New Mexico.

Learn more about Fluoride in New Mexico Private Wells.
Fluoride in drinking water can help prevent dental cavities but it must be just the right amount - not too much and not too little. (Too much fluoride has negative health effects and not enough could mean oral health problems).

The ideal amount of fluoride in drinking water for oral health benefits, per the CDC, is 0.7 mg/L. Knowing the amount of fluoride in your drinking water could help your dentist tailor your treatments and better advise you about your daily regime, such as using toothpaste with fluoride.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes water fluoridation to be one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century due to its impact on Oral Health. To prevent cavities, dentists recommend getting just the right amount of fluoride in two ways:

  • Swallowing it from your drinking water, and,
  • putting onto the tooth surface, such through a toothpaste, mouthwash or dental treatment.

To learn more about CDC recommendations and guidelines for water fluoridation visit: https://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/index.html.
Although the local dental community sometimes has data and knowledge about fluoridation of water from a local community water system, that type of information for patients who drink water from private wells is often not on their radar. Approximately 20 percent of New Mexico's population relies on private wells for drinking water. For dental health purposes, it is important for well owners to test their drinking water for fluoride, inform the dentist of well water use, and tell the dentist the concentration of fluoride in your drinking water. Having a grasp of the amount of fluoride a person might be getting through drinking water can help a dental professional plan treatments and better tailor dental care for their patient.
The New Mexico Environmental Public Health Tracking (NM EPHT) Program partners with the New Mexico Office of Oral Health (OOH) to increase the application of environmental health data in the dental field and to increase knowledge about oral health. Both programs are part of the New Mexico Department of Health. The services provided by the OOH include increasing access to dental care along with promoting oral health as part of general health.

The OOH continues to work with NM EPHT to educate the public and dental professionals about drinking water quality and fluoride. Learn more about the Office of Oral Health: https://nmhealth.org/about/phd/hsb/ooh/
The NM EPHT website is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number, 6 NUE1EH001354 (previously, 5 U38EH000949), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC or do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Thu, 22 August 2019 10:16:47 from New Mexico EPHT Tracking Public Web site: https://nmtracking.org/ ".

Content updated: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 15:45:17 MDT