It is without question that community water fluoridation in the city of Seattle, the United States, and throughout the world is a bona fide public health success story.
This year marks 48 years of water fluoridation in Seattle, and Oral Health Watch wanted to commemorate this milestone by focusing on this safe, cost-effective, and beneficial public health measure.
Fluoride helps strengthen teeth by making them more resistant to tooth decay. Adding a minute amount of fluoride to drinking water helps to ensure that people of all ages and income levels have access to this tooth-saving measure.
More than 70 years of study, research, and practical application has shown that water fluoridation safely reduces tooth decay by at least 25 percent in children and adults.
Water fluoridation has also proven to be a cost-effective health tool that saves taxpayers, businesses and families money. Studies conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that every dollar invested in fluoridation saves $38 worth of dentistry down the road.
In fact, adding optimum levels of fluoride to public drinking water has improved people’s oral health so profoundly that the CDC listed water fluoridation as one of the Top 10 Great Public Health Achievements of the last century, along with workplace safety, immunizations, motor vehicle safety, and food safety.
Today, about 75 percent of all Americans on public water systems have fluoridated water. In King County, the number is higher with about 80 percent of residents enjoying the benefits of stronger teeth through fluoridated water.
But, don’t just take Oral Health Watch’s word for it.
The four the largest professional health organizations in the United States – the ADA, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics – all stand behind community water fluoridation. More than 63 health and science organizations agree that fluoride fights cavities.
Want to learn more about the benefits of water fluoridation? You can learn why pediatricians support water fluoridation by clicking here. The ADA offers an in-depth analysis of water fluoridation here. And Arcora Foundation, the Foundation of Delta Dental of Washington, provides additional resources on the benefits of water fluoridation.