Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Community Water Fluoridation

Little girl drinking a glass of waterThe safety and benefits of fluoride are well documented. For 70 years, people in the United States have benefited from drinking water with fluoride, leading to better dental health.

Drinking fluoridated water keeps the teeth strong and reduced tooth decay by approximately 25% in children and adults. By preventing tooth decay, community water fluoridation has been shown to save money, both for families and the health care system.

Over the past several decades, there have been major improvements in the nation’s oral health. Still, tooth decay remains one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. Community water fluoridation has been identified as the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all members of the community, regardless of age, educational attainment, or income level.

Nearly all water contains some fluoride, but usually not enough to help prevent tooth decay or cavities. Community water systems can add the right amount of fluoride to the local drinking water to prevent tooth decay.

Community water fluoridation is recommended by nearly all public health, medical, and dental organizations including the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, US Public Health Service, and World Health Organization. Because of its contribution to the dramatic decline in tooth decay in the United States since the 1960s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century

Learn About Fluoride in Water

New Information

CDC Scientific Statement [PDF-271K]

U.S. Public Health Service Recommendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water for the Prevention of Dental Caries [PDF-403K]

Surgeon General's Perspective on Community Water Fluoridation [PDF-275K]

Fact Sheet on Community Water Fluoridation [PDF-283KB]

Information for Everyone

Basic Information  What is fluoride, its benefits, and uses?

Safety Information  More about the science and safety of water fluoridation.

My Water's Fluoride  Does your community have fluoridated water?

Information for Professionals

Individuals and organizations working on water issues, dental health, or public health can find tools and resources here.

Water Fluoridation Training Program - This training helps build the capability of state fluoridation programs and supports water treatment professionals in developing and refining their operational skills.
Water Fluoridation Reporting System (WFRS) - Tool for state dental directors or tribal authorities to enter state fluoridation data and print operational reports.
Resources for State Oral Health Programs and Partners