It's been 70 years since the first tentative steps were taken to introduce fluoride to drinking water in North America. Since then the use of fluoridated water has spread around the world as one of the great innovations in public health.
Fluoride is a chemical that adds strength to the enamel of teeth, and improves resistance to cavities.
It only takes a tiny amount of fluoride -- less than 1 mg in a litre -- to improve dental health. And so much improvement: between 20% and 40% fewer cavities. For each dollar spent on adding fluoride to water it's estimated $38 gets saved in dental care.
On Friday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m., dental health specialists across North America will be marking 70 years of fluoride in drinking water with 70 minutes of information sharing on Twitter.
Join us on Twitter, @SMDhealthunit, to learn more about the facts behind community water fluoridation.
Cavities are often ignored as a health risk because they're so common. But fixing dental problems costs Canadians millions. And decay can create social and educational setbacks in childhood that can last a lifetime. It makes sense to pay more attention to the health of your teeth.
Read more in our dental health section.