In 2014, more than 211 million people, or 75 percent of the United States population, were served by community water systems that contain enough fluoride to protect their teeth.
Community water fluoridation is not only safe and effective, it is also cost-saving — yielding about $38 savings in dental treatment costs for every $1 invested.
Drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities by about 25 percent in children and adults.
By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation improves health and saves money both for families and for the U.S. health care system.
Community water fluoridation is recommended by nearly all major public health, medical and dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Public Health Service and the World Health Organization.
Because of its contribution to the large decline in cavities in the United States since the 1960s, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
The local debate needs to follow the scientific and public health evidence that strongly supports effective fluoridation of our public water supplies.
Prof. B. Alexander White
Department of Dental Ecology
School of Dentistry