FACT: Fluoridated water has been shown to prevent tooth decay by 25% over a person’s lifetime. 


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What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that exists naturally in all water supplies.

Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the amount of fluoride in drinking water to a level recommended for preventing tooth decay, one of the most common diseases of both children and adults. Because the amount of natural fluoride in water varies widely from one geographic area to the next, some water supplies need no additional fluoridation to be effective against tooth decay, and in areas with low or no natural fluoride, fluoride is added. 

Fluoridated water protects teeth from tooth decay.  Research has demonstrated that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by about 25% over an individual’s lifetime and provides a cost-benefit as well. 

Community water fluoridation is particularly important as a primary prevention measure for those individuals who cannot afford or access regular dental care. Recognized by almost every major public health organization, CWF protects teeth without any health risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognized community water fluoridation as “one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th Century.

Most people are familiar with the benefits of toothpaste and rinses with fluoride. Studies have shown that when common fluoride products such as toothpaste and mouth rinses are used, fluoridated water reduces tooth decay another 25% among children and adults.


Since the 1950s, each U.S. Public Health Service Surgeon General has committed his or her support for community water fluoridation, (CDC).

Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA

Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA

Surgeon General of the United States, 2014-2017, 2021-

“Water fluoridation is the best method for delivering fluoride to all members of the community, regardless of age, education, income level or access to routine dental care. Fluoride’s effectiveness in preventing tooth decay extends throughout one’s life, resulting in fewer – and less severe – cavities. In fact, each generation born over the past 70 years has enjoyed better dental health than the one before it. That’s the very essence of the American promise.”

Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA

Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA

Surgeon General of the United States, 2009-2013

“With the development of fluoridated drinking water and dental sealants, Americans are less likely to experience tooth loss and gingivitis by middle age … Community water fluoridation continues to be a vital, cost-effective method of preventing dental [cavities].”

Richard Carmona, MD, MPH

Richard Carmona, MD, MPH

Surgeon General of the United States, 2002-2006

“Water fluoridation has helped improve the quality of life in the United States by reducing pain and suffering related to tooth decay, time lost from school and work, and money spent to restore, remove or replace decayed teeth.”

David Satcher, MD, PhD

David Satcher, MD, PhD

Surgeon General of the United States, 1998-2002

For more than half a century, community water fluoridation has been the cornerstone of caries prevention in the United States. As noted in my May 2000 report, Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, community water fluoridation continues to be the most cost-effective, practical and safe means for reducing and controlling the occurrence of tooth decay in a community.”

Audrey Manley, MD, MPH

Audrey Manley, MD, MPH

Surgeon General of the United States, 1995-1997

The health benefits of fluoridation include a reduction in the frequency and severity of dental decay, a decrease in the need for tooth extractions and fillings, a reduction in pain and suffering associated with tooth decay, and the obvious elevation of self-esteem that goes with improved functioning and appearance.

M. Jocelyn Elders, MD, MS

M. Jocelyn Elders, MD, MS

Surgeon General of the United States, 1993 - 1994

“Our work isn’t finished until every community is fluoridated.

C. Everett Koop, MD, DSc

C. Everett Koop, MD, DSc

Surgeon General of the United States, 1981-1989

“Fluoridation is the single most important commitment a community can make to its children and to future generations”

Credible Information about Community Water Fluoridation

American Dental Association has unreservedly endorsed the fluoridation of community water supplies as safe, effective, and necessary in preventing tooth decay since 1950. 

American Fluoridation Society promotes scientifically-based information about water fluoridation and provides training and technical assistance support in communities across the U.S.

Campaign for Dental Health is a broad network of oral health advocates, health professionals, child and family organizations, and scientists who are working together to preserve our nation’s gains in oral health and created to ensure that people of all ages have access to the most effective, affordable and equitable way to protect teeth from decay, which is community water fluoridation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitors the progress of the nation and individual states toward meeting the Healthy People 2030 objectives on community water fluoridation (Oral Health-11) — 77.1% of people served by community water systems will receive water that has the optimum level of fluoride recommended for preventing tooth decay. The CDC also provides evidence-based information and water fluoridation resources.

Fluoride Exposed is a web-based resource, which uses fluoride as a vehicle for cultivating a greater understanding of science for the general public’s perspective.

Dr Myron Allukian Jr talks about his support for water fluoridation.

The podcast hosted by the British Fluoridation Society, features Myron Allukian, Jr., DDS., MPH, a public health expert, discussing why water fluoridation is important for every resident of the US.

Video Testimonials


We frequently receive the same question when we share our knowledge with others.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that exists naturally in water supplies. Fluoride has been shown to reduce the rate of tooth decay when added to toothpaste and water.

How does fluoride get into water?

As groundwater flows over rocks, it picks up fluoride ions, which originate from those rocks. These fluoride ions are what is commonly referred to as being “naturally occurring” fluoride. The fluoride ions added during fluoridation are identical to those that are naturally occurring.

Are there risks to fluoridated water?

There is no valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence of any adverse health effects from optimally fluoridated water.

What is fluoridation?

Water fluoridation is the adjustment of existing fluoride in water to a level that helps prevent tooth decay (cavities). Local water systems typically choose from one of three forms of fluoride to add to water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides detailed information on the different types of fluoride.

What are the benefits of fluoridated water?

The benefits of fluoridated water have been shown to prevent tooth decay by 25% over a person’s lifetime.