Updated on May 15, 2024
3 min read

California Water Fluoride: Updated Statistics

NewMouth is reader supported. We may earn a commission if you purchase something using one of our links. Advertising Disclosure.

Water fluoridation is a common practice in California, aimed at improving oral health among the state’s residents. Although California has made significant progress in expanding access to fluoridated water, the state still lags behind the national average in terms of the percentage of the population receiving this benefit. Let’s take a closer look at some key statistics and facts about water fluoridation in California.

As of 2018, 64.7% of Californians had access to fluoridated water through their local water systems. This represents a substantial increase from 1992, when only 15.7% of the state’s population on public water systems received fluoridated water. Despite this progress, California ranks 37th among states in the percentage of the population receiving fluoridated water.

  • In 1992, only 15.7% of California’s population on public water systems received fluoridated water. By 2018, this percentage climbed to 64.7%.
  • California law requires community water fluoridation for water systems with more than 10,000 service connections, where outside funding is available.
  • For every dollar spent on water fluoridation, it’s estimated that about thirty-eight dollars is saved in treatment costs.

California’s Progress in Water Fluoridation

California has made notable strides in expanding access to fluoridated water over the past few decades. Consider these statistics:

  • In 1992, only 15.7% of California’s population on public water systems received fluoridated water.
  • By 2014, this percentage climbed to 63.7%, and by 2018, it was 64.7%.

This increase in access to fluoridated water is a testament to the state’s efforts to prioritize oral health.

Output image

California Compared to National Averages

While California has made progress in water fluoridation, the state still falls short of the national average:

  • In 2020, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems received fluoridated water.
  • California’s 2018 figure of 64.7% is below this national average.
  • California ranks 37th among states in the percentage of the population receiving fluoridated water.
Output image 1

Legislation and Public Health Support

California has legislation in place to support water fluoridation efforts:

  • California law requires community water fluoridation for water systems with more than 10,000 service connections, where outside funding is available.

This legislation demonstrates the state’s commitment to improving oral health through water fluoridation.

Economic Benefits of Fluoridation

Water fluoridation not only improves oral health but also offers economic benefits:

  • For every dollar spent on water fluoridation, it’s estimated that about thirty-eight dollars is saved in treatment costs.

This highlights the cost-effectiveness of water fluoridation as a public health measure.

National Goals for Fluoridation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has set a national goal for water fluoridation:

  • As part of “Healthy People 2030,” the goal is to increase the proportion of the American population served by community water systems with optimally fluoridated water to 77.1% by 2030.
  • In 2020, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems received fluoridated water.

California, along with other states, will need to continue its efforts to expand access to fluoridated water to help meet this national goal.

Water fluoridation remains an important public health measure in California, with the state making significant progress in expanding access to fluoridated water over the past few decades. Despite this progress, California still falls below the national average in terms of the percentage of the population receiving fluoridated water. With legislation in place to support water fluoridation efforts and clear economic benefits, California is well-positioned to continue its work in improving oral health through this proven public health intervention.

Last updated on May 15, 2024
4 Sources Cited
Last updated on May 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. Community Water Fluoridation.” UCSF School of Dentistry, Oral Health Support, n.d.
  3. 2018 Water Fluoridation Statistics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018.
  4. Community Water Fluoridation Manual.” UCSF School of Dentistry, Oral Health Support, n.d.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram