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Fluoridation flourishes, new CDC stats say

March 31, 2016

By Michelle Manchir

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Atlanta — Nearly 74.7 percent of the U.S. population on community water supplies — or about 214.2 million people — received the benefit of fluoridated water in 2014, according to statistics released March 25 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.    
The CDC issues updated fluoridation statistics every two years.  This is the seventh consecutive increase since 2000, when 65 percent of the U.S. population on community water supplies, or about 161.9 million people, received optimally fluoridated water.
The CDC calls the jump "continued progress from the Healthy People 2020 baseline of 72.4 percent towards the target of 79.6 percent." Healthy People 2020 is a series of "science-based, 10-year national health objectives for improving the health of all Americans," according to the CDC.
"It is exciting to see the number of Americans receiving fluoridated water continues to rise," said Dr. Valerie Peckosh, chair of the ADA National Fluoridation Advisory Committee.  
Among the states with the largest percentage increase in fluoridation since 2012, the last time statistics were released, are Arkansas, Colorado, New York and Wyoming, which had the highest increase in fluoridation with 13.5 percentage points, 43.6 percent to 57.1 percent.
The CDC has named water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century because of its contribution to the dramatic decline in tooth decay.
The ADA continues to endorse the use of water fluoridation for preventing tooth decay. For more information from the ADA about water fluoridation, visit ADA.org/Fluoride or contact Jane McGinley, ADA manager of fluoridation and preventive health activities, at mcginleyj@ada.org.