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ADA Statement on Study in JAMA Pediatrics

August 19, 2019

Contact Information:
mediarelations@ada.org

CHICAGO — The American Dental Association (ADA) remains committed to fluoridation of public water supplies as the single most effective public health measure to help prevent tooth decay. This commitment is shared by many national and international organizations, including the World Health Organization, US Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  

Public health policy is based on a collective weight of scientific evidence. The ADA is aware of a new study conducted in Canada in which its authors reviewed maternal exposure to fluoride in pregnancy. We welcome this and further scientific study of the issue to see if the findings can be replicated with methods that demonstrate more conclusive evidence. 

Throughout more than 70 years of research and practical experience, the overwhelming weight of credible scientific evidence has consistently indicated that fluoridation of community water supplies is safe. The evidence-based research shows the recommended concentrations of fluoride (0.7 mg/L) used in community water fluoridation is beneficial and safe for the public.

Since the introduction of community water fluoridation in 1945, and the addition of fluoride in toothpaste, tooth decay rates in the U.S. have dropped significantly. Today, even with wide-spread availability of fluoride toothpaste, studies show community water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by more than 25 percent in children and adults. 

The ADA remains focused on how and if emerging evidence might impact public health recommendations and policies. We will continue to evaluate the validity of emerging evidence and research to support the advancement of the health of the public. To learn more about the benefits of fluoride, please visit MouthHealthy.org/fluoride.

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 163,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org