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Population-based prevention programs are the first line of defense against tooth decay. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the recommended fluoridation of municipal water supplies. First introduced in the 1950’s, it has been hailed as one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.1

Research shows that drinking optimally fluoridated water is one of the safest and most cost-effective public health measures for preventing, controlling, and in some cases reversing, tooth decay. Unfortunately, many citizens believe their public water contains optimal levels of fluoride when, in fact, it does not.

Efforts to introduce fluoridation are frequently undermined by limited funds for infrastructure, perceived controversy, voter apathy, confusing ballot language, and an abundance of misinformation that has flourished on the Internet. As a result, optimally fluoridated water is not available to over one-quarter of those served by public water systems.2 


  1. CDC. Ten Great Public Health Achievements—United States, 1900-1999, MMWR 1999, 48(12);241-243.
  2. National Oral Health Surveillance System. Water fluoridation statistics, 2010. Available at, accessed April 30, 2012. 
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Letters and Testimony

  • June 11, 2012Coalition letter urging the U.S. Surgeon General to issue a statement acknowledging the continuing public health role of fluoridation in enhancing the oral health of all Americans.
  • June 30, 2011Letter commenting on two Fluoride Dose Response and Relative Source Contribution documents prepared by the EPA.
  • February 14, 2011Comments on the the CDC’s recommendation to set the level for optimally fluoridated water at 0.7 parts per million. (PDF)
  • January 10, 2011Press release on the ADA’s evidence-based clinical recommendations on the intake of fluoride from reconstituted infant formula and the prescription of dietary fluoride supplements for caries prevention. 
  • January 7, 2011Press release commending the Department of Health and Human Services proposal to recalibrate the level of fluoride it considers optimal for drinking water.
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ADA Resources

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Additional Resources

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Contact Us

Federal Affairs
1111 14th Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
Fax: 202.898.2437

State Government Affairs
ADA Chicago Headquarters
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Fax: 312.440.3539

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