Fluoridation For Preventing & Reducing Tooth Decay

Fluoridation For Preventing & Reducing Tooth Decay

Community water fluoridation is an effective, safe and affordable way to prevent and reduce tooth decay for everyone.

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What is fluoride?  

Fluoride is a natural substance in the air, soil, fresh water, sea water, plants and in lots of food. It helps protect teeth by making them stronger and by reducing tooth decay. 

What is water fluoridation? 

Fluoridation is the process of adjusting the natural level of fluoride in community water supplies – it is increased so it gives the best protection against tooth decay. 

What are the facts about community water fluoridation? 

It's effective 

Numerous studies have shown that children and adults living in areas with community water fluoridation have significantly less tooth decay than those living in non-fluoridated areas. 

Fluoride has been added to many regions' water supplies for more than 60 years. 

It's safe 

Evidence based on decades of community water fluoridation shows it is safe. 

Watch Sir Peter Gluckman, the former chief science adviser to the prime minister, talk about why fluoride makes a difference.  

It's affordable

There is strong evidence that community water fluoridation is cost-effective. It saves much more in dental costs for individuals than it costs to run fluoridation programmes.

Watch Dr Riana Clarke, National Clinical Director of Oral Health for the Ministry of Health talk about why fluoride is important. 

Check the 5 facts about water fluoridation poster (PDF, 1.05MB).

Fluoride poster

Read more about fluoridation on the Ministry of Health's website.

See KidsHealth's section on teeth

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This page last reviewed 29 April 2022.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it