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Family reunions are a fun event that I look forward to attending. We get together with my late mother-in-law’s family which originated in the hill country of south Texas. It is great to see them and catch up on family history. My mother-in-law and her family had beautiful smiles! Many in her generation did not have cavities, ever. They grew up on farms and had a pretty basic but healthful diet and their drinking water was naturally fluoridated at an optimal level. That part of Texas is known for that.

Their lifestyle included locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, a low sugar diet (remember that was the generation that experienced sugar rationing during World War II) and staying hydrated with optimally fluoridated water on their farm.

They were fortunate. Many in that generation did not have access to groundwater that had adequate fluoride levels or excessive fluoride levels, both of which are problematic. Inadequate fluoride and teeth are more susceptible to decay; excessive fluoride and teeth are at risk for fluorosis.

Optimal fluoride levels strengthen the outer layer of teeth, thereby preventing decay, decreases the oral bacteria that is associated with tooth decay and last, but not least, can decrease tooth sensitivity.

We are lucky in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Our water comes from Lake Gaston and is treated with fluoride which averages 0.6 ppm according to the 2017 Water Quality Report for 2016 Data.

Staying hydrated with tap water is also good for the environment. Take a look at this fact sheet by the United States Environmental Protection Agency on the chemical toxicity of plastics pollution.

So that family reunion is always a great reminder of the benefits of drinking healthfully, eating well and maintaining relationships. You will be healthier for it!