Community Water Fluoridation

Five reasons for drinking fluoridated water

  1. Water fluoridation is healthy and prevents cavities.  All major medical, public health, and oral health organizations support water fluoridation as a safe and effective tool for preventing tooth decay and improving oral health. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adjusting fluoride levels in water to 0.7 parts per million for effective cavity prevention. Scientific research over the past 75 years has shown water fluoridation’s role in cavity prevention – from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) history of fluoridation, to the recognition of fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements, to the American Dental Association (ADA) current review of fluoride facts.
  1. Water fluoridation is natural.   All water throughout the world has naturally-occurring fluoride. Some bodies of water have levels too small to provide cavity prevention benefits. Some have fluoride at a level just right to prevent tooth decay. And some have too much fluoride naturally from volcanic rock. Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the natural level for community cavity prevention – to 0.7 parts per million (ppm), the level currently recommended to protect against tooth decay.
  1. Water fluoridation is widely accepted.   More than 10 million people in the U.S. drink water that is naturally at the right level for cavity prevention.  Over 200 million Americans drink optimally fluoridated water (62% of the country). All Surgeon Generals have examined the science and supported fluoridation.  Of the largest 50 cities in the U.S., 44 are fluoridated.  Fluoridation is recognized as a pubic health measure that prevents tooth decay by the American Water Works Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  1. Water Fluoridation is Cost Effective.   The average cost of providing fluoridated water to residents of a community varies and depends on the size of the community.  Nationally, in communities of 1,000 or more people, there is a return on investment of $20 for every dollar invested, and for every dollar spent on community water fluoridation, communities save an average of $32 per person in avoided dental treatment costs.
  1. Water Fluoridation is Beneficial for a Lifetime.   Studies show that people who drink optimally fluoridated water from birth can experience up to 40% less decay over their lifetime – and one out of four cavities are prevented on average.


Fluoridation in Maine

In 1952, the Town of Norway became the first Maine community to provide fluoridated water to its residents.  Today 64 water systems provide optimally fluoridated water to 126 communities throughout Maine.

Key Resources on Fluoridation