Honors College Thesis


The Dental Fluoridation Potential of Drinking Water Public Deposited

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  • Water fluoridation is considered one of the top ten greatest health achievements of the twentieth century due to its effectiveness in reducing the prevalence of dental caries. However, despite extensive research on the subject, there is little information currently available about how the constituents of drinking water affect the uptake of fluoride by tooth enamel. This study investigated how several key components and characteristics of drinking water influence fluoride uptake and developed a corresponding model system for testing fluoride uptake. The experimental variables included the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions, degree of water hardness, and pH and buffer strength; a final geographical experiment was also performed that analyzed the effectiveness of fluoride uptake in several different municipal water samples. Overall, standard levels of calcium and magnesium ions, water harness, and buffer strength did not affect fluoride uptake, and a pH of 6.0 was optimal for fluoride uptake. Notably, there was no significant difference in fluoride uptake between the water samples from different regions, indicating fluoride is a resilient ion likely be incorporated in enamel if originally present in the water.
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