Fluoride myths and facts

In the 1940s, scientists discovered that people who lived where drinking water supplies had naturally occurring fluoride levels of approximately 1 part fluoride per million parts water or greater (>1.0 ppm) had fewer dental caries (cavities) than people who lived where fluoride levels in drinking water were lower. Many more recent studies have supported this finding.

It was subsequently found that fluoride can prevent and even reverse tooth decay by inhibiting bacteria that produce acid in the mouth and by enhancing remineralisation.

What is water fluoridation?

Water fluoridation is the process of adding fluoride to the water supply so the level reaches approximately 0.7 ppm, or 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per litre of water; this is the optimal level for preventing tooth decay.

Facts about water fluoridation

Good oral hygiene + healthy eating + water fluoridation = good oral health.

Adding a small amount of fluoride in the water system doesn’t change the taste or smell of water and is a safe and effective way to protect against tooth decay.

Drinking fluoridated water is good for people of all ages including young children, pregnant women and older people.

Extensive scientific research confirms water fluoridation is not associated with any ill health effects.

Common myths about water fluoridation

Water fluoridation causes cancer.
Fact: Scientific studies from around the world have failed to demonstrate a link between water fluoridation and any type of cancer.

Water fluoridation causes excessive dental fluorosis.
Fact: Most fluorosis is barely detectable and does not damage the teeth, whereas tooth decay is painful, unsightly and expensive to repair.

Water fluoridation is mass medication
Fact: Fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay and build healthy communities.