Fluoridation Briefs

April 4, 2002

Fluoridation census update. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that from 1992 through 2000, the portion of the U.S. population receiving optimally fluoridated water rose from 62.1% to 65.8%, bringing the total U.S. population with access to about 162 million. [Populations receiving optimally fluoridated public drinking water — United States 2000, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Feb 22, 2002]

CDC issues fluoride update. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a 42-page report on fluoride use. [Fluoride Recommendations Group. Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 50(RR14):1-42, Aug 17, 2001] Because frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride each day will best reduce the risk for dental caries in all age groups, the agency now recommends that all persons drink water with an optimal fluoride concentration and brush their teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. (Approximately 100 million Americans do not have community fluoridation available.) For persons at high risk for dental caries, additional fluoride measures may be useful. The report also recommends labeling of bottled water and other beverages so that individual fluoride intake can be determined. In 1999, the CDC listed water fluoridation as among the ten greatest health milestones of the 20th century. Studies show that fluoride can prevent the formation, slow the progression, and even reverse newly-forming cavities.

Fluoridation status of 50 largest U.S. cities. The National Center for Fluoridation Policy Research has tabulated the fluoridation status of the 50 largest cities in the United States. As of March 3, 2001 — based on 1999 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates — 44 are fluoridated. Of the rest, 2 have been approved and are awaiting implementation and one is required by state law to fluoridate. The details are available in PDF format.

Election results. Nine of the 18 communities that voted on fluoridation in the 2000 presidential election voted for it. The number of people in the communities favoring fluoridation totaled 3,957,079 . The population where referenda lost totaled 345,883.

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This page was revisd om April 4, 2002.