Community water fluoridation helps prevent tooth decay by adjusting the fluoride in the water supply to an optimal level. Many drinking water supplies contain some fluoride naturally, however, to prevent tooth decay, it is important to supplement and maintain an adequate level of fluoride to achieve this goal.
Facts About Water Fluoridation
- Fluoridation is safe.
- Fluoridation is the least expensive and most effective way to reduce tooth decay.
- People drinking fluoridated water have 20 to 40 percent less tooth decay.
Approximately 100 communities in Missouri are currently supplementing the natural fluoride level in the water system to the optimum for dental decay prevention.
Your Water’s Fluoride
- Visit Missouri's "My Water’s Fluoride" page to find out whether your local water system optimally fluoridates its water. For more specific information, contact your local water district.
- The current Health and Human Services guidelines for optimal water fluoridation 0.7 parts per million (ppm); the secondary maximum contaminant level (SMCL) for fluoride in drinking water is 2.0 ppm and the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for fluoride in drinking water is 4.0 ppm.
- It is important to note that although the Department of Health and Senior Services recognizes that community water fluoridation is a safe, effective, cost efficient means to prevent tooth decay, the decision to fluoridate is up to each water district. Some water systems do not adjust fluoride levels at all, while others achieve optimal fluoridation by adding or removing fluoride. For more specific information on your public drinking water system, please contact your local water district.
- Additionally, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources maintains a website containing Consumer Confidence Reports on each community water supply in Missouri.
Certification of Fluoride Notification
Missouri Revised Statute 640.136 was signed by the Governor in June of 2016. This statute requires that any public water system or district must notify the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and its customers of its intentions to make modifications to fluoridation of its water supply.
- A change in fluoridation practices includes any addition or discontinuation of fluoridation.
- The notification must take place at least 90 days prior to any meeting where a change in fluoridation practices is decided.
- Notification of customers may be accomplished through any combination of the following: radio, television, newspaper regular mail, or electronic means.
- To review the State Law: Missouri Revised Statute 640.136.
For more information about community water fluoridation, please visit the following links: