The evidence supporting the safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of fluoridation of community water supplies comes from multiple sources covering 50 years of legitimate research published in peer reviewed journals, including both long term studies on large populations, recent confirmatory studies, and comprehensive literature reviews. Adding fluoride to drinking water is an important element in promotion of dental health along with education and access to dental care.
Top Ten Facts About Fluoride
• Fluoride is a community health measure that benefits people of all ages, income levels, and ethnicity.
• Fluoride protects over 300 million people in more than 40 countries worldwide, with over 10,000 communities and 145 million people in the United States alone.
• Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in all water supplies and when adjusted to optimal levels, is effective in reducing tooth decay.
• Fluoride is not a medicine. Fluoride is a naturally occurring element and a nutrient. (Reference: Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride, 2004. National Academy Press, Washington DC)
• Multiple studies over the years done in several countries and the United States show that fluoridation can reduce tooth decay by 60% in baby teeth and up to 35% in adult teeth. When fluoride was discontinued, there were large increases in the incident of tooth decay, especially in children. (Reference:http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm)
• Poor children suffer disproportionably more cavities than middle or upper income children. Children from families earning less than $20,000 annually have 10 times more unmet dental care needs than children from families earning $50,000 annually.
• Water fluoridation is the best way to get fluoride. Topical application is better than nothing but not nearly as effective as water fluoridation. Pills are expensive and all too often not administered correctly.
• Water fluoridation is SAFE! Multiple studies show that adjustment to appropriate levels does not pose a health risk for the public. Fluoride at recommended levels has been used for more than 50 years with no side effects. Visit www.fluorideinfo.org for more information.
• Water fluoridation saves money! Do the math- it costs approximately 50 cents per person per year to receive fluoridated water in Arcata. One single filling for a cavity can be well over $100!
• Oral health is a critical component of overall health and well-being. Good oral health is critical for quality of life and psychosocial health.