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 133 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
- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources maintains a website containing Consumer Confidence Reports on each public water supply in Missouri. This information is updated annually. These reports are searchable by county and water system name. Consumer Confidence Reports contain a variety of information on each water supply, including fluoride levels. It should be noted that the current Health and Human Services guidelines for optimal water fluoridation is within the range of 0.7 and 1.2 parts per million (ppm); the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for fluoride in drinking water is 4 ppm.
- Please visit http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/pdwb/ccr.htm to learn more about your water supply.
- 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.