Quiz: Why the fluoride?



4 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

You already know how important it is to brush and floss every day -- or at least we hope you do! Chances are, the water you use to brush your teeth is fluoridated by your municipal water company. Do you know why? Find out how much you know about fluoride by taking this quiz.

Researchers noticed that towns with a higher level of natural fluoride in the water supply had a lower incidence of what?

Researchers found that people who lived in towns with high levels of natural fluoride in the water supply had a lower incidence of cavities. This discovery was first noticed by a dentist in Colorado in 1901.


True or false: Fluoride in water is only effective for children, whose teeth are still developing.

False. Fluoride in the water is beneficial for children, but also for adults -- helping to strengthen enamel and prevent cavities.


What is the cost of water fluoridation per person in the United States?

It costs a mean of 31 cents per person in the United States to provide fluoridated water, in communities of 50,000 people or greater.


When researchers in Boston began giving large doses of fluoride to rats, the female rats' offspring had what problem?

Pregnant rats, when given large doses of fluoride, gave birth to babies with cognitive deficits.


Fluoride protects teeth by strengthening what?

Fluoride helps prevent cavities by strengthening the enamel, the hard covering on the tooth.


Community-wide water fluoridation began in what year?

In 1945, Grand Rapids, Mich., became the first community to implement municipal water fluoridation.


Fluoridated water helps reduce tooth decay over a person's lifetime by how much?

Studies show that fluoridated water can reduce tooth decay over a lifetime by 25 percent.


True or false: Overexposure to fluoride in adults can lead to bone fractures or bone pain.

True. In adults, overexposure to fluoride can lead to potential for increased bone fractures as well as bone pain.


Every dollar invested in adding fluoride to water saves how much money in community dental costs?

Every dollar invested in fluoridating water saves about $38 in future dental costs.


The U.S. Public Health Service currently recommends which range of fluoride in water?

Currently, the U.S. Public Health Service recommends the amount of fluoride in the water range from 0.7 to 0.12 milligrams per liter. However, this amount may soon be lowered to just 0.7 milligrams per liter.


Some chemists point out that the toxicity of fluoride in water at one part per million is equal to that of what?

Some chemists have stated that the toxicity of fluoridated water at one part per million is equal to that of arsenic.


How much toothpaste is the safest amount to use?

The recommended amount of toothpaste you should use is a pea-sized amount.


Tooth decay is caused by what?

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that eats away at enamel, allowing cavities to form.


True or false: Fluoride occurs naturally in water.

True. Fluoride is a mineral occurring naturally in nearly all sources of water.


The process by which fluoride can prevent or reverse tooth decay is known as what?

Fluoride prevents or reverses tooth decay through a process called "remineralization," where it rebuilds tooth enamel.


True or false: Fluoridated water causes cancer.

False. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that fluoridated water causes cancer.


The United States fluoridates more than 60 percent of its water supply, whereas Canada fluoridates about how much of its water supply?

Canada fluoridates less of its public water than the United States, coming in at around 40 percent.


Little white specks on the teeth are part of a condition called what?

Dental fluorosis exhibits via small white specks on the teeth and is caused by overexposure to fluoride.


What is the best way to prevent cavities?

An electric toothbrush is fine and so's a rinse, but the best way to prevent cavities is simply to brush and floss every day, to remove harmful bacteria from your teeth.


True or false: The rate of water fluoridation may decrease over the years.

True. As more products containing fluoride hit the market, fluoridated water may not be as necessary as it once was.


Adding fluoride to water so that the level reaches one part fluoride per one million parts water is called what?

Fluoridation is the process of adding fluoride to water so that the level reaches one part fluoride to one million parts water.


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