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American Dental Association Supports Fluoridation

The American Dental Association unreservedly endorses the fluoridation of community water supplies as safe, effective and necessary in preventing tooth decay. This support has been the Association's position since policy was first adopted in 1950.

Fluoridation of Water Supplies (Trans.1950:224)
Resolved, that in the interest of public health, the American Dental Association recommends the fluoridation of municipal water supplies when the fluoridation procedure is approved by the local dental society and utilized in accordance with the standards established by the responsible health authority, and be it further

Resolved, that the American Dental Association recommends the continuation of controlled studies of the benefits derived from the fluoridation of water supplies.

In 1993, the Association marked the 50th anniversary of community water fluoridation.

50th Anniversary of Community Water Fluoridation (Trans.1993:692)
Resolved, that the American Dental Association declare the 50th Anniversary of Fluoridation in Grand Rapids, Michigan to be of national significance in the history of preventive dentistry, and be it further

Resolved, that the Association identify appropriate opportunities to be visibly associated with this commemorative event.

Since the inception of water fluoridation, the American Dental Association has carefully monitored scientific research regarding safety and efficacy. Based on that review, the Association has continually reaffirmed water fluoridation as the most effective public health measure for the prevention of dental caries and strongly urges that its benefits be extended to those served by communal water systems. In 1997, the ADA House of Delegates confirmed its support for fluoridation by setting forth a comprehensive policy statement

Operational Policies and Recommendations Regarding
Community Water Fluoridation (Trans.1997:673)

1. The Association endorses community water fluoridation as a safe, beneficial and cost-effective public health measure for preventing dental caries.
2. The Association supports the position that all communal water supplies that are below the optimum fluoride level recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service (a range from 0.7 - 1.2 parts per million) should be adjusted to an optimum level.
3. The Association urges individual dentists and dental societies to exercise leadership in all phases of activity which lead to the initiation and continuation of community water fluoridation, including making scientific knowledge and resources available to the community and collaborating with state and local agencies.
4. The Association encourages individual dentists and dental societies to utilize Association materials on the community organization and public education aspects of fluoridation.
5. The Association encourages states to utilize the corps of experts in the area of fluorides and fluoridation that is maintained through appropriate Association agencies in order to promote the safety, benefits and cost-effectiveness of fluoridation.
6. The Association encourages governmental agencies and philanthropic organizations to make funding available to communities seeking to adjust the fluoride content of the community's water supply to the optimal level.
7. The Association supports the following actions to maintain the quality of national community water fluoridation and its infrastructure:

  • performance of a community water fluoridation infrastructure needs assessment by state health departments where such information is not currently available;
  • allocation of needed resources to appropriate state agencies to upgrade and maintain the fluoridation infrastructure; and
  • observance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Engineering and Administrative Recommendations for Water Fluoridation - 1995 by fluoridated water systems in all states.