Water Fluoridation: One of the 10 Great Public Health Achievements of the 20th Century
Updated: Jan 4
Did you know that your water has fluoride in it, just like toothpaste? It's true! In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named water fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century, along with such dramatic health improvements from the industrial age as workplace safety, motor vehicle safety, and immunizations. Considering the infamously horrid working conditions, undependability of cars, and spread of disease that were prevalent in the industrial age, the fact that water fluoridation is on that list is pretty significant.
Let's take a closer look at what makes water fluoridation such an incredible achievement.
Tooth decay is a problem for 60-90% of schoolchildren and the vast majority of adults; water fluoridation was implemented to help combat this flourishing rate of tooth decay.
And the best part is, it's working.
As the American Dental Association points out, “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.” A 2010 study confirmed that the fluoridated water consumed as a young child makes the loss of teeth due to decay less likely 40 to 50 years later. There are also statistics comparing countries that have fluoridated water and those that don't, and the results are very clear: tooth decay is far more prevalent in the general population of those countries that do not utilize water fluoridation. A study from the National Institutes of Health states that, "It is anticipated that those areas that have yet to implement water fluoridation because of the belief that it is no longer effective will face mounting pressure to change their position in the years to come as scientific evidence of effectiveness continues to be demonstrated." Water fluoridation works.
The bottom line is well summarized by the World Health Organization.
“People of all ages, including the elderly, benefit from community water fluoridation... Fluoridation of water supplies, where possible, is the most effective public health measure for the prevention of dental decay. … The consensus among dental experts is that fluoridation is the single most important intervention to reduce dental caries, not least because water is an essential part of the diet for everyone in the community, regardless of their motivation to maintain oral hygiene or their willingness to attend or pay for dental treatment.”
Make sure to ask for fluoride varnish at your next hygiene appointment. The truth is, it works. Call now at (916) 774-4499 to schedule your appointment with one of our skilled, personable hygienists.