Research

Community water fluoridation in the United States has a 65-year record of success in improving dental health.

With so much information available today, it’s not always easy to distinguish the facts from fiction.

With fluoridation, it’s easy. Nearly every reputable organization that has studied fluoridation concludes that it is safe, natural and effective. These sources include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, the American Dental Association and nearly all health and disease management organizations.

The truth about fluoride:

  • Fluoridation reduces dental decay by up to 40 percent. 11
  • Fluoride helps control and heal early signs of tooth decay. Teeth especially benefit when they are exposed to a tiny and regular supply of fluoride (water fluoridated at 1 part per million).
  • Fluoride levels found in fluoridated water are well within the safe levels issued by the United States Public Health Service and Environmental Protection Agency.
  • All water sources naturally contain fluoride. Fluoridation is the adjustment of a water source’s fluoride content to the level proven for optimal dental health.
  • Fluoridation is regarded by experts as one of the most effective public health measures a community can take.

To make sure you’re getting factual information from reputable sources, review the full list of endorsing organizations.

Scientific Reviews: Assessing the Weight of the Evidence 

Reviews of scientific literature are an important resource to judge the safety of community water fluoridation. Scientific reviews are helpful because they:

Consider evidence from published studies on a subject.

Use carefully-designed methods to critically examine scientific evidence.

Use national and international panels of experts in various health and scientific disciplines. This includes experts that may come from fields outside of oral health; such as, medicine, biophysics, chemistry, toxicological pathology, and epidemiology.

Judge the quality of individual studies and summarize the strength of the entire body of evidence.

Identify and summarize research gaps and make recommendations for further research.

Scientific and pubic health organizations have conducted scientific reviews about fluoridation during the past two decades. These reviews provide compelling evidence that community water fluoridation is a safe and effective method for reducing tooth decay across all ages.

To review the Scientific Reviews, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site on this topic.