Fluoride & Community Water Fluoridation
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century!
On April 22, 2013, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., officially endorsed community water fluoridation as "one of the most effective choices communities can make to prevent health problems while actually improving the oral health of their citizens."
The most effective way for your child to get fluoride’s protection is by drinking water containing the right amount of the mineral… about one part fluoride per million parts water. This is of special benefit to children, because fluoride is incorporated into enamel as teeth form. Children who, from birth, drink water containing fluoride have up to 40% fewer cavities. Many of them remain cavity-free through their teens.
Fluoride Myths & Facts
Fluoride is one of the most effective elements for preventing tooth decay. This mineral combines with tooth enamel to strengthen it against decay. Fluoride may also actually reverse microscopic cavities by enhancing the process by which minerals, including calcium, are incorporated into the teeth.
Even though your regular water supply may be fluoridated, it is still important to discuss with your dentist any additional fluoride needs your child may have. Look for fluoride toothpastes and over-the-counter fluoride mouth rinses that carry the American Dental Association - ADA seal. They have been proven safe and effective for their intended use. The advertising claims for these products have been reviewed by the ADA so the claims are accurate and not misleading.
Your dentist may recommend various ways to get fluoride protection, including:
- Drinking fluoridated water at school.
- Taking prescribed fluoride tablets or drops.
- Brushing with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste after age two.
- Using a fluoride mouth rinse for children over age six.
ADA Fluoridation Facts
American Caner Society
CDC - Centers for Disease Control Fluoride Information
Fluoride information for Missouri
Taney County Health Department Resolution on Community Water Fluoridation (CWF)
The Campaign for Dental Health was launched in 2011 by several national organizations to educate the public about the importance of oral health and the need for states and communities to invest in proven forms of prevention such as community water fluoridation. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign are among the organizations partnering on this national campaign to promote and defend community water fluoridation. The Campaign provides reliable, evidence-based information about oral health and fluoride, which is a proven strategy to prevent tooth decay. The Campaign’s website, ilikemyteeth.org, is designed to counter misinformation from anti-fluoride activists and provides policy makers and health officials with concise, reliable reviews of the research on fluoride.
What is Fluoride? Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is naturally present in all water sources.
What is Community Water Fluoridation (CWF)? CWF is the controlled adjustment - either increasing or decreasing - and monitoring of fluoride in community drinking water to reach optimal fluoride levels for preventing tooth decay. Water that has been fortified with fluoride is similar to fortifying milk with Vitamin D, table salt with iodine, and bread and cereals with folic acid. (American Dental Association)