The British Columbia Dental Association (BCDA) supports community water fluoridation as a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay. Approximately 45% of Canadians benefit from water fluoridation.
When voting on whether or not to include water fluoridation in your community, the BCDA encourages you to get the facts on fluoride in order to make an informed choice for the dental health of the entire community.
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in soil, water (both salt and fresh), plants and various foods. Fluoride protects the teeth from decay by strengthening the outer layer of the tooth (enamel).
In addition to natural sources, fluoride can be found in toothpastes, mouthwashes, supplements (tablets or drops), gels and rinses.
The safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation has been frequently studied and continues to be supported by current science. Canadian and international studies agree that water that was fluoridated at optimum levels does not cause adverse health effects.
Reviews of water fluoridation:
National and international health organizations continue to endorse water fluoridation.
Water fluoridation has been effectively used in communities throughout Canada for over 50 years and remains important in its ability to reduce the incidence of dental decay.
“Even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, studies prove water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing dental decay by 20-40%.” (American Dental Association)
In addition, it is a cost-effective preventive public health measure.
A US Center for Disease Control study estimates that every $1 US invested in community water fluoridation saved $38US in avoided costs for dental treatment.
Water fluoridation ensures that all members of the community, regardless of age, education, and social-economic status, are protected against tooth decay. It is particularly beneficial to children, seniors and other vulnerable individuals who may not have access to other preventive measures, such as regular dental care or even other fluoride products.