Water fluoridation: The addition of fluoride to water supplies that are low in fluoride in order to prevent dental caries. For years now, water fluoridation has reduced pain and suffering related to tooth decay, reduced tooth loss, reduced time lost from school and work and money spent on dental care. A significant advantage of water fluoridation is that anyone, regardless of socioeconomic level, can enjoy its benefits.
The effectiveness of water fluoridation has been fully documented in the scientific literature. Numerous studies have proven fluoride's effectiveness in decay prevention in the primary teeth of infants and children, as well as in the permanent teeth of children, adolescents and adults, including senior citizens. As with other nutrients, fluoride is safe and effective when used and consumed properly. Fluoridating community water supplies, at optimal levels, is an effective and safe method for preventing tooth decay.
Moreover, no credible scientific evidence supports an association between fluoridated water and conditions such as cancer, bone fractures, Down syndrome, or heart disease, as claimed by some ardent opponents of water fluoridation. Community water fluoridation is presently the most cost-effective method for preventing tooth decay. On average, it costs less than $1 annually per person to fluoridate community water systems serving most people in the US. See also: Fluoride.