Updated on March 15, 2024
2 min read

Idaho Water Fluoride: Updated Statistics

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Idaho has one of the lowest rates of access to fluoridated water in the United States, despite the well-established benefits of fluoridation for preventing tooth decay. According to the most recent data, less than a third of Idaho’s population served by community water systems has access to this important public health measure.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the current state of water fluoridation in Idaho, including trends over time, comparisons to national averages, and the factors contributing to the state’s low fluoridation rates. By understanding these statistics and their implications, we can better advocate for expanding access to fluoridated water and improving oral health outcomes for all Idahoans.

  • As of 2020, only 31.7% of Idaho’s population served by community water systems had access to fluoridated water.
  • Idaho ranks 47th in the nation for the percentage of its population receiving fluoridated water, among the lowest in the United States.

Trends in Access to Fluoridated Water

Idaho has seen a significant decrease in the percentage of its population with access to fluoridated water over the past few decades.

  • In 1992, 48.3% of Idahoans had access to fluoridated water.
  • By 2018, that figure had dropped to just 31.7%, a decrease of over 16 percentage points.

This trend suggests that efforts to expand water fluoridation in Idaho have stalled or even reversed in recent years.

Comparison to National Averages

Idaho’s fluoridation rates are significantly lower than the national average, highlighting the need for increased efforts to expand access in the state.

  • Nationally, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems received fluoridated water in 2020.
  • Idaho’s 2020 figure of 31.7% is less than half the national average.

Factors Contributing to Low Fluoridation Rates

Several factors contribute to Idaho’s low rates of water fluoridation, including a lack of statewide mandates and limited natural fluoride levels in water supplies.

  • The State of Idaho does not mandate fluoridation, leaving the decision to local governments and city councils.
  • Few public water systems in Idaho add fluoride to the drinking water, a process known as fluoridation.
  • Some areas in Idaho have naturally occurring fluoride in their water supplies, but these levels are often below the optimal range for preventing tooth decay.

Expanding access to fluoridated water in Idaho will require a concerted effort from public health officials, policymakers, and community advocates. By educating the public about the benefits of fluoridation, working with local governments to implement fluoridation programs, and advocating for statewide policies that support fluoridation, we can make progress toward ensuring that all Idahoans have access to this vital public health measure.

Water fluoridation is a safe, effective, and cost-efficient way to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health outcomes for entire communities. Despite the low current rates of fluoridation in Idaho, there is hope for the future. By working together and prioritizing this important issue, we can create a healthier, more equitable Idaho for all.

Last updated on March 15, 2024
3 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, 2021.
  2. Idaho Fluoride Information.” Fluoride Action Network, 2023.
  3. Oral Health in Idaho.” Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, 2015.
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