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The degree to which children maintain proper dental health may play a significant role in determining their oral health as an adult. A new study has found that children who are given fluoridated drinking water are less likely to dental problems as adults.
Researchers from Columbia University combined the results of a study on tooth loss in the 1990s and surveys of communities with fluoridated drinking water conducted in the 1950s and 60s. They found that children who grew up with fluoride were less likely to have lost permanent teeth later in life.
"Your fluoridation exposure at birth is affecting your tooth loss in your 40s and 50s, regardless of what your fluoridation exposure was like when you were 20 and 30 years old," said Matthew Neidell, who led the study. We know that the benefits of fluoridation are greatest from birth.
Previous studies of Medicaid patients in Louisiana have shown that for every $1 invested in water fluoridation, dental costs were reduced by $38. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called the process the greatest public health advancement of the 20th century.
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