Updated on March 15, 2024
2 min read

Arkansas Water Fluoride: Updated Statistics

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Water fluoridation is a crucial public health measure that has been proven to reduce tooth decay and improve oral health. Arkansas has made significant strides in expanding access to fluoridated water over the past two decades, with the majority of its population now benefiting from this preventive measure. This article will delve into the current state of water fluoridation in Arkansas, highlighting the progress made and the importance of continued efforts to ensure all residents have access to this vital public health service.

Here are some key statistics that demonstrate Arkansas’s commitment to water fluoridation:

  • In 2020, 86% of Arkansas’s population served by community water systems had access to fluoridated water, up from just 48% in 2000.
  • Arkansas’s 2020 figure of 86% is well above the national average of 72.7%, indicating a higher coverage of water fluoridation compared to many other states.

Increase in Access to Fluoridated Water

Arkansas has seen a remarkable increase in the percentage of its population with access to fluoridated water over the past 20 years.

  • In 2000, only 48% of residents were receiving water from systems with fluoridation.
  • By 2018, this percentage had risen to 85.4%, and it further increased to 86% in 2020.

This growth can be attributed to legislative efforts and public health initiatives aimed at expanding water fluoridation across the state.

Arkansas’s Fluoridation Levels Compared to National Averages

Arkansas has consistently surpassed national averages when it comes to the percentage of its population with access to fluoridated water.

  • In 2020, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems received fluoridated water.
  • In comparison, Arkansas’s 2020 figure of 86% is well above the national average, ranking it 20th among the states.

Legislative Support for Water Fluoridation

Arkansas has enacted legislation to support and expand water fluoridation efforts across the state.

  • In 2011, Arkansas passed Act 197, which mandates fluoridation for water systems supplying 5,000 people or more.
  • This legislation has been crucial in ensuring the sustainability of community water fluoridation in Arkansas.

The passage of Act 197 and subsequent efforts have led to a significant increase in the number of residents with access to fluoridated water, although there were still 8 counties with no fluoridated water as of 2020.

The Importance of Water Fluoridation

Water fluoridation is a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health for people of all ages.

  • The U.S. Public Health Service recommends a fluoride concentration of 0.7 mg/L in drinking water for the prevention of dental caries.
  • About 3 out of 4 Americans receive fluoridated public drinking water, which has been identified by the CDC as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.

Arkansas’s commitment to water fluoridation has positioned the state as a leader in oral health prevention. By continuing to invest in and expand access to fluoridated water, Arkansas can ensure that all its residents benefit from this critical public health measure. The state’s progress in water fluoridation serves as an example for other states looking to improve the oral health of their populations.

Last updated on March 15, 2024
4 Sources Cited
Last updated on March 15, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. 2020 Water Fluoridation Statistics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020.
  2. Fluoridated Water.” Aspire Arkansas, 2021.
  3. Arkansas Community Water Fluoridation Legislation.” Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, 2015.
  4. Fluoride – Health Professional Fact Sheet.” National Institutes of Health, 2022.
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