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Report notes benefits of community water fluoridation

October 22, 2015 Denver — Drinking optimally fluoridated water is a good way to decrease the risk of tooth decay, a Water Research Foundation report released Oct. 16 states.

The report, "State of the Science: Community Water Fluoridation," available online, assesses the current practices of community water fluoridation in the U.S. and describes the history and science of community water fluoridation. It also includes case studies of water fluoridation in six cities in the U.S.
    
Among the benefits of water fluoridation that the report lists is the protection against tooth decay for higher risk subgroups, including minorities and people who live below poverty lines.
   

The report also addresses some health-related concerns about community water fluoridation, including dental fluorosis. The report notes that "each of these (health-related) concerns was addressed and a balance of scientific studies showed that none of these issues poses a risk to public health at (community water fluoridation) levels."     

It also addresses concerns related to water fluoridation cost-effectiveness, but says that fluoridation costs large utilities' customers less than $1 annually per customer, while it has been estimated to be about $30 in cost savings per customer annually.  

The Water Research Foundation is a nonprofit research group supported by water utilities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and northern Asia.

The ADA endorses the fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. The Association, along with state and local dental societies, continues to work with federal, state, local agencies and community coalitions to increase the number of communities benefiting from water fluoridation.
    
To read the entire report, visit WaterRF.org and search for the report's title, "State of the Science: Community Water Fluoridation." For more information on community water fluoridation, visit ADA.org/fluoride or email Jane McGinley, ADA manager of fluoridation and preventive health activities, mcginleyj@ada.org.