Skip Navigation LinksFluoridation

Office of oral health


Water Fluoridation 

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is an effective way to prevent and protect teeth from tooth decay.  Fluoride stops or can even reverse the tooth decay process, keeping tooth enamel strong and solid, for both children and adults. Water fluoridation ranks as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 29th Century according to the Surgeon General.  All drinking water naturally contains some fluoride.  Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the naturally occurring fluoride level to the optimum level for preventing tooth decay.  More than half (62%) of the U.S. population live in communities served by fluoridated water supplies.  Community water fluoridation has the endorsement of every major health organization in the United States and many other countries, as well as every Surgeon General for the past 50 years.  The concentration of fluoride in community drinking water is controlled within plus or minus 0.1 parts per million and represents no health hazards. Every $1 spent on fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.

Guidelines and Literature

  • Guideline on Fluoride Therapy (PDF): The AAPD issued these guidelines to help practitioners and parents make decisions concerning the use of fluoride in comprehensive oral health care for infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs.


  • American Dental Association’s Fluoridation Facts: Information from over 350 scientific references in an easy to use question and answer format on the topics of effectiveness, safety, practice, and cost-effectiveness of fluoridation.

  • California Environmental Protection Agency State Water Resources Control Board: Overview of fluoridation by public water systems, including background information on fluoridation data, most recent and historic fluoridation data, and fluoridation management and reporting.

  • CDC’s Community Water Fluoridation Fact Sheet (PDF): An evidence-based factsheet outlining why community water fluoridation is safe, effective, reduces disparities, saves money, and is a public health achievement.

  • Community Water Fluoridation Overview: The CDC developed resources that communicate the effectiveness of water fluoridation for consumers. This webpage also outlines scientific statements, statements of support from federal, state, and local agencies, basic information and safety information for everyone, and information for professionals such as the water fluoridation training program.

  • I Like My Teeth: A Campaign for Dental Health by the AAP provides information on fluoridated water to ensure that people of all ages have access to the most effective, affordable, and equitable way to protect teeth from decay.

Page Last Updated :