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Updated 05 October 2015

Community water fluoridation

Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the amount of fluoride present in piped water.

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All natural sources of water contain the mineral fluoride. Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the amount of fluoride present in piped water. (The optimal level for protection against tooth decay is one part of fluoride to one million parts of water.)

Water fluoridation is cheap. For South Africa it would work out at less than Rl,00 per person per year. And water fluoridation is also safe.

Today there are about 300 million people all over the world benefiting from community water fluoridation. A further 300 million people drink water which naturally has the correct amounts of fluoride.

Countries with programmes for topping up the fluoride levels include the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Finland, the former USSR and the United Kingdom.

There is an enormous amount of scientific literature on the use of fluoride in dentistry. Studies have shown that fluoridation reduces tooth decay in baby teeth by 40 to 60% and in permanent teeth by 25 to 40%. The greatest reductions in tooth decay have been shown where water fluoridation is available in addition to topical fluorides, toothpaste, and fluoride rinses.

Information supplied by the South African Dental Association.


 
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