OHCE supports Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) throughout New York State by providing trainings and expert consultation to water system operators and community leaders, examining and disseminating scientific evidence on CWF programs, and helping to build local support networks for CWF and other oral health prevention programs.
Community Water Fluoridation
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recognized CWF as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. Among many available oral health intervention strategies, CWF has the largest population impact because it requires the least amount of effort from the individual and provides benefits to everyone in the community, providing protection against tooth decay regardless of age, socioeconomic status, oral health knowledge and behaviors, and access to dental services.
According to CDC, more than 204 million people in the United States are currently served by public water supplies containing enough fluoride to protect teeth, while approximately 100 million Americans do not have access to fluoridated water. In New York State, 47% of population living outside of New York City are served by community water systems with optimally fluoridated water.
Healthy People 2020 calls for about 80 percent of the population to be served by optimally fluoridated community water systems by 2020.
New York State's Prevention Agenda 2013-2017 focuses on fluoridation to help improve oral health of all NYS residents.
Find out whether the public water supply is fluoridated in your community at CDC's My Water's Fluoride
Find out how much percentage of residents are served by community water systems with optimally fluoridated water in your county at New York State Prevention Agenda Dashboard
- I Like My Teeth website (Source: Campaign for Dental Health): CWF campaign and educational resources and tools.
- Fluoride SCIENCE (Source: Center for Fluoride Research Analysis): Review of key fluoride-related studies and reports discussed in the public arena are available in topic summaries and critical appraisals.
- Evidence-based state strategies for preventing tooth decay and control cost (Source: CDC): CDC, in collaboration with the National Governors Association and the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, developed technical package for state to prevent tooth decay with intervention strategies that have a significant scientific basis for their effectiveness and shown a positive return on investment in less than 5 years.
- ASTDD's video on CWF shares facts, useful information, as well as perspectives of school nurse, pediatrician, school teachers and many more (Source: Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors)
- Fluoridation Facts (Source: American Dental Association): A comprehensive resource on all aspects of fluoridation in Q&A format.
- Frequently asked questions on CWF (Source: CDC)
- HOW FLUORIDE WORKS (Source: Campaign for Dental Health): Video, poster, and graphic are available both in English and Spanish
- National and international organizations that support CWF (Source: ADA Fluoridation Facts Compendium)
- A Community Toolkit for Preserving and Implementing water Fluoridation: This interactive web-based toolkit was developed by Health Resource in Action Inc., funded by DentalQuest Foundation, to provide community members, coalitions, and anyone who support CWF with guidance, tools to understand the community's readiness, and resources to develop strategies for local campaigns.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the final recommendation for the optimal fluoride level at 0.7 milligrams per liter (parts per million, ppm) in drinking water to prevent tooth decay on April 27, 2015. The previous recommendation issued in 1962 had a range (0.7 to 1.2 ppm) because people consumed different amounts of water based on geographic locations of living (warm vs. cool climates) back then. HHS’s new recommendation reflects contemporary condition surrounding water fluoridation: 1) the pattern of water consumption is no longer different across different air temperatures, 2) the sources of fluoride has increased (i.e. fluoride in toothpaste, mouthrinse, and processed foods with fluoridated water), and 3) accordingly the rate of mild fluorosis has increased in recent years.
With this latest recommendation from the HHS, the New York State Department of Health also recommends that community water systems target an optimal concentration of 0.7 mg/L (0.7 ppm). This new recommended level will maintain the benefit of tooth decay prevention and help reducing the occurrence of mild fluorosis.
- The US Public Health Service Recommendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water for the Prevention of Dental Caries (Public Health Reports/ July-August 2015)
- Surgeon General's Perspectives on Community Water Fluoridaton (Public Health Reports/ July-August 2015)
- Fluoride: Small solution. Big benefits. ADA applauds USPHS final recommendation on optimal fluoride level in drinking water
- Issue Brief on Water Fluoridation: The Network for Public Health Law
OHCE works with NY Rural Water Association to educate water plant operators and oral health stakeholders about public health benefit of water fluoridation four times a year. Please contact us for more information on the upcoming training schedule.
NYS CWF Training (Source: NYS DOH)
- Benefits of CWF (Source: NYS DOH)
- Safety of CWF (Source: NYS DOH)
- Costs and Savings of CWF (Source: NYS DOH)
- Operational and Engineering Aspects of CWF (Source: NYS DOH)
- NYS CWF Toolkit
MMWR Engineering and Administrative Recommendations for water fluoridation, 1995 (Source: CDC)
60 years of fluoridation in NYS: A compendium of NYS DOH’s scientific contributions to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of water fluoridation (PDF)