Introduction l Fluoridation Facts 5 Introduction Fluoridation Facts has been published by the American Dental Association (ADA) since 1956. Revised periodically, Fluoridation Facts answers frequently asked questions about community water fluoridation. In this 2018 edition, the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention provides updated information for individuals and groups interested in the facts about fluoridation. The United States now has more than 70 years of extensive experience with community water fluoridation. Its remarkable longevity and success is testimony to fluoridation’s significance as a public health measure. In recognition of the impact that water fluoridation has had on the oral and general health of the public, in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named fluoridation of drinking water as one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.1,2 Many organizations in the United States and around the world recognize the benefits of community water fluoridation. Support for Water Fluoridation Since 1950, the American Dental Association (ADA) has continuously and unreservedly endorsed the optimal fluoridation of community water supplies as a safe and effective public health measure for the prevention of tooth decay. The ADA’s policy is based on the best available scientific evidence on the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation. Since the ADA first adopted policy recommending community water fluoridation in 1950, the ADA has continued to reaffirm its position of support for water fluoridation and has strongly urged that its benefits be extended to communities served by public water systems.3 Over the years, additional support has come from numerous U.S. Surgeons General who are the leading spokespersons on matters of public health in the federal government. In 2016, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy in his “Statement on Community Water Fluoridation,” 4 noted: Water fluoridation is the best method for delivering fluoride to all members of the community, regardless of age, education, income level or access to routine dental care. Fluoride’s effectiveness in preventing tooth decay extends throughout one’s life, resulting in fewer — and less severe — cavities. In fact, each generation born over the past 70 years has enjoyed better dental health than the one before it. That’s the very essence of the American promise.4 In addition to the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association,5 the American Academy of Pediatrics6 and the World Health Organization7 also support community water fluoridation. Many organizations in the United States and around the world recognize the benefits of community water fluoridation. The ADA has developed a list of “National and International Organizations that Recognize the Public Health Benefits of Community Water Fluoridation for Preventing Dental Decay.” Please see the ADA website at www.ADA.org/fluoride for the most current listing as well as information on reproduction and distribution of the list.
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