Cost of fluoridating city water
For 70 years, people in the United States have benefited from drinking water with fluoride, leading to better dental health.
Drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities (also called tooth decay) by about 25% in children and adults.
Community water fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to deliver fluoride to people of all ages, education levels, and income levels who live in a community.
Most water has some fluoride, but usually not enough to prevent cavities.
For more information, see the October 1999 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Fluoridation of Drinking Water to Prevent Dental Caries.
More than 70 years of scientific research has consistently shown that an optimal level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults.
Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in surface waters depend on location but are generally low and usually do not exceed 0.3 ppm. Department of Health and Human Services issued a recommendation for the optimal fluoride level that should be in drinking water to prevent tooth decay.
By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation has been shown to save money for families and for the US health care system.
Oral health in the United States is much better today than it was many years ago; however, cavities are still one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood.
"The adjustment in amount is more representative of the current needs of the population.
Due to the increased use and accessibility of other fluoride sources (toothpaste, mouth rinse, etc.) and other improvements in oral health care, these new recommendations have been made," said Alice Lee, a pediatric dentist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York.
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