Water Fluoridation is Effective

Drinking fluoridated water fights tooth decay.

Water fluoridation is the best and most effective way to provide fluoride’s dental health benefits to everyone in your community, including children and adults — especially seniors.

Communities with fluoridated drinking water are healthier.  Did you know that tooth decay is reduced by up to 40 percent among children and adults in communities with fluoridated water?

  • Both the U.S. Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm an up to 40 percent decrease in tooth decay under fluoride’s effective part of cavity prevention.
  • Drinking fluoridated water is effective because fluoride protects your teeth in two important ways: systemically and topically. For optimal dental health, your teeth need to receive fluoride directly on the surface of the tooth as well as through your body to strengthen teeth from the inside.
  • Regardless of age, income or education, fluoridated drinking water benefits whole communities by strengthening tooth enamel and even prevening tooth decay.  Simply by drinking fluoridated water, you and your family can benefit from fluoridation’s cavity protection whether at home, work or school.
  • Fluoridation also can save millions of dollars in health care costs and eliminate needless pain and suffering.7

Quick facts

Nearly every large city and more than 195 million Americans receive the health benefits of water fluoridation.

All water sources naturally contain fluoride, but most do not contain enough to maintain adequate dental health.

Based on 65 years of scientific research, fluoridation is regarded by experts as one of the most effective public health achievements in the last 100 years.

Studies show up to a 40 percent reduction in cavities following community water fluoridation.2

Fluoride effectively helps control and heal early signs of tooth decay.

Teeth benefit from fluoride when they are exposed to a tiny and regular supply of fluoride (0.7 parts per million fluoride in water).3  Fluoride works by stopping or even reversing the decay process.  It keeps tooth enamel strong and solid.

Cavities affect 50 percent of first graders and 80 percent of 17-year-olds.4  Because older Americans are now keeping their teeth longer, fluoride will continue to be important for preventing tooth decay in this age group.  Older Americans are especially susceptible to tooth decay because of exposed root surfaces and mouth dryness that may result from many medications.

Every $1 invested in community water fluoridation yields approximately $38 savings in dental treatment costs.5  In fact, fluoridated water saves more than $4.6 billion annually in dental costs in the United States.