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Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in soil, plants and water. Most Canadians arealso exposed to fluorides every day through the foods they eat; from using dental products like toothpaste or mouthwash; or through their drinking water. Research has shown that fluoride protects teeth against tooth decay.

Girl Drinking water

Fluoride in drinking water
Fluoride is naturally present in the water in Oxford County. In some parts of the County-- such as Brownsville, Ingersoll, Lakeside, Springford, Tillsonburg and some areas with private well water-- natural fluoride in the drinking water is higher than in other areas. See the Health Information Advisory for fluoride for more information about these drinking water systems.

Oxford County does not add fluoride to its municipal water system.

Fluoride and your health
There is a health benefit to fluoride. Fluoride is a proven way to prevent cavities, a common worldwide health problem that can lead to tooth pain and tooth loss, periodontal diseases or serious infections.

A constant level of fluoridebelow 1.5 mg/L canhelp prevent cavities by protecting tooth enamel against acids that cause tooth decay.

Fluoride levels under 2.4 mg/L are considered safe for drinking by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Children under 6 years of age should avoid fluoride

Natural fluoride levels above 1.5mg/L are a concern for children 6 years of age or younger. Exposure to fluoride can cause dental fluorosis in children, a condition that causes mottling and discolouration of teeth. Small white flecks or larger white areas will appear and, in some cases, pitting or brown areas. Fluorosis usually happens during a child’s early years when the teeth are still forming below the gums. Fluorosis is a cosmetic problem, not a health problem.

If your drinking water contains more than 1.5 mg/L of fluoride it is recommended that you reduce young children’s exposure to fluoride.

Ways to reduce exposure include:

  • Use a non-fluoride toothpaste until age seven
  • Do not use mouthwash or mouth rinses that contain fluoride
  • Do not use fluoride supplements
  • Although a fluoride treatment at the dentist has little chance of contributing to fluorosis, you may want to talk this over with your dentist
  • Until children reach the age of seven, consider using water from a source with a lower fluoride level for drinking, cooking and mixing frozen fruit juices (e.g., non-fluoridated bottled water). You may also want to consider a water treatment device such as reverse osmosis to remove fluoride. Brita filters do not remove fluoride
  • Use non-fluoridated water for mixing baby formula
  • Teach your child not to swallow toothpaste but to spit out excess toothpaste and rinse well after brushing