Fluoride and Fluoridation

Fluoride is one of the world's most studied substances. Thousands of studies have been conducted over the past 70 years to establish and confirm fluoride's benefits: Fluoride is safe. Fluoride is inexpensive. Fluoride benefits everyone—regardless of age and socioeconomic status.

About Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in water sources across the globe.

When swallowed or applied to the teeth, fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making the outer surface of teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay.


Resource Center

The Fluoride brochure discusses the importance of fluoride to oral health. It educates adults about the safety of fluoride, community water fluoridation, systemic and topical fluoride, and other methods that cavities can be avoided. 


Community Water Fluoridation

Fluoridated water is one of the most efficient and effective ways to deliver fluoride.

In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has named fluoridating community water one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century

More than 100 leading health organizations, including the American Dental Association (ADA), Massachusetts Dental Society, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Medical Association, World Health Organization, and American Cancer Society, recognize the public health benefits of community water fluoridation for preventing dental decay.

What Is Community Water Fluoridation?
Community water fluoridation (CWF) is the adjustment of sub-optimally fluoridated water levels up to the levels recommended for optimal dental health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends the optimal fluoride concentration level of 0.7 parts per million (ppm).

One milligram per liter (mg/L) of fluoride in water equals one part per million (ppm). One ppm of fluoride is diluted in a million parts of water. The following comparisons give an idea of the amount of one part per million: 1 inch in 16 miles; 1 minute in 2 years; 1 cent in $10,000.

At this concentration level, dental decay is effectively reduced while minimizing the risks of dental fluorosis. The optimal level for a location depends on the annual average maximum daily air temperature of the geographic area.

There are three types of additive options approved by the American Water Works Association and NSF International: sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate, and fluorosilic acid. The benefits of community water fluoridation are the same regardless of the source.


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