CONCORD — Some Massachusetts towns are now removing fluoride from their tap water.
Dr. Douglas Chespak of Varinos Dental Associates says fluoride is one of the biggest fighters against cavities, but a nationwide shortage of the chemical could now impact your drinking water.
“Took out four teeth so far today, a lot of those was due to decay,” Dr. Chespak told WBZ-TV.
Public Works crews in some towns like Concord and Peabody add fluoride to their water supply to prevent tooth decay, but supply chain issues have made finding these chemicals much harder.
“It’s basically an additive that provides, over a long period of time, a certain benefit for health,” said Alan Cathcard, Concord Department of Public Works Director. “The absence of it, in water, for a short period of time, doesn’t represent any public health risk or threat.”
But fluoride does have long-term benefits that could save you a trip to the dentist.
“When you’re eating acidic foods or drinking coffee, for instance, it will eliminate that outer shield. And that fluoride grabs on, reconstructs it, makes it strong again, so that bacteria and decay can’t latch on,” Dr. Chespak said.
Cathcart say even if you don’t get fluoride in your tap water, there are still other ways to protect your enamel in the meantime.
“People can supplement what they would get in water with toothpaste, mouthwashes, that sort of thing for a short period of time.”