Water Fluoridation


In the 1930s, the benefits of fluoride were discovered, as dentists began to observe less decay on teeth of individuals whose drinking water contained naturally occurring fluoride. Since 1945, areas have supplemented their drinking water with fluoride. In so doing, the natural fluoride levels in the drinking water are adjusted to levels between 0.7-1.2 parts per million (ppm). That is, one part of fluoride in a million parts of water.

The first city to have their water fluoridated in 1945 was Grand Rapids, Michigan. In Grand Rapids, MI the decay in children was lower by sixty percent; this was the result of a fifteen year research study. Adding fluoride to the drinking water in other areas of the country showed the following reduced incidence of dental caries in children:

  1. A 30-60 percent reduction in dental decay in children under 8 years old;
  2. A 20-40 percent reduction in dental decay in children from 8-12 years old; and?
  3. A 15-35 percent reduction in dental decay in children older than 12 year and adults.

As a result of water fluoridation there is reduced tooth decay, which translates into fewer teeth requiring extractions and dental fillings. Thus, dental costs are reduced. Presently, approximately sixty-two percent of individuals have access to public drinking water supplies with enough fluoride added. In the United States, forty-three out of fifty of the largest cities have drinking water that is adequately fluoridated. Water-fluoridation costs approximately fifty cents a year per people. Approximately sixty foreign countries also have water fluoridation.

In a 1998 national survey, approximately seventy percent of Americans were in favour of community fluoridation of the drinking water. Although there is some opposition to water fluoridation, saying that it interferes with their free will. While, still others, do not have their facts right, and are confused when it comes to reading the scientific literature.

Is my drinking water fluoridated?

The best way to find out if the drinking water that you use contains fluoride is by contacting your local water company, district where you live, or local government.