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Fluoridated water reaching more U.S. residents

CDC’s 2010 statistics show nearly 9 percent increase since 2000

Milwaukee—Almost three-fourths of U.S. residents who receive water from community water systems—about 204 million residents—now receive fluoridated water, according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., announced the agency’s latest water fluoridation statistics April 30 via a taped video presentation at the National Oral Health Conference in Milwaukee. The information is also posted on the CDC website (www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/statistics/2010stats.htm).

Between 2000 and 2010, the percent of the U.S. population on public water supplies receiving fluoridated water increased from 65 percent to 73.9 percent, just a percentage point under the Healthy People 2010 national health initiative objective. A total of 26 states and the District of Columbia have met the objective and state percentages range from more than 99 percent in Kentucky, Maryland and Illinois to 10.8 percent in Hawaii.

Fluoridated water is reaching nearly 9 million more people than in 2008, when 195.5 million or 72.4 percent were receiving fluoridated water, said the CDC.

“These new figures show that since 2008, nearly 9 million additional Americans are now receiving the cavity prevention benefits of fluoridated water,” said. Dr. William Bailey, acting director, CDC Division of Oral Health. “Water fluoridation continues to be one of the most important community measures to prevent tooth decay. All people can benefit from fluoridation, regardless of age, personal financial resources and access to dental services.”

The latest Healthy People fluoridation objective set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is for 79.6 percent of the U.S. population served by community water systems to receive optimally fluoridated water by 2020.

“The American Dental Association is pleased to see that the number of U.S. residents with access to fluoridated water continues to grow,” said ADA President William Calnon. “The CDC has identified fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century and we hope to see the number of people receiving the benefits of water fluoridation continue to increase to meet the Healthy People 2020 objective.”

Visit cdc.gov for more details on the statistics. The ADA also offers a variety of fluoridation resources at ada.org/fluoride.