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
- Please visit Missouri's "My Water’s Fluoride" page to find out whether your local water system optimally fluoridates its water. For more specific information, please 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: http://dnr.mo.gov/ccr/index.html.
For more information about community water fluoridation, please visit the following links: