Dentists concerned about children's teeth in Flint - WNEM TV 5

Dentists concerned about children's teeth in Flint

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Lead in the water has negatively affected the health of many children in the city of Flint, but not drinking the water could be harming them in another way.

Fluoride has been put into tap water for decades and strengthens the surface of your teeth to help ward off tooth decay and cavities.

Children who drink only bottled water are not getting the fluoride they need, which can lead to more problems later in life.

Dr. Traci Dantzler doesn't want to miss a thing when it comes to your teeth. That is why she is getting the word out that residents in Flint, especially children, could be at risk if they are using just bottled water to brush their teeth.

That's because normal bottled water doesn't have the fluoride that city water often contains.

"Fluoride is essential for healthy enamel and if the enamel breaks down it's more susceptible to developing cavities," Dantzler said.

She is teaming up with the Genesee District Dental Society to encourage the residents of Flint to make a visit to the dentist.

While many people in Flint have no choice other than to use bottled water because of the water crisis, dentists said it can be mitigated by rinsing with fluoride or brushing with toothpaste that has fluoride in it.

"We are seeing VEB now, a higher incidents of dental care is forming with children because they have not had that fluoride in the water. Fluoride was introduced into the public water system in 1945 in Grand Rapids. And the children that were born after that had substantial fewer cavities than the children that were born before that. So we know many studies have shown the positive effects of fluoride," Dantzler said.

Dentists are very concerned about the future of children's teeth in Flint.

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