Updated on March 15, 2024
2 min read

Kentucky Water Fluoride: Updated Statistics

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Kentucky is a national leader in providing access to fluoridated water, with 99.9% of its population served by community water systems receiving this important public health benefit. This high level of coverage has remained consistent over the years, reflecting the state’s strong commitment to improving oral health through water fluoridation.

Despite the proven benefits of fluoridation, there has been recent legislative activity in Kentucky aimed at making it optional for local municipalities. This has raised concerns among dental health professionals about potential increases in tooth decay and associated costs if the mandate is removed.

  • Kentucky has one of the highest rates of water fluoridation in the United States, with 99.9% of the population served by community water systems having access to fluoridated water.
  • Nationally, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems received fluoridated water in 2020, making Kentucky’s figure significantly above the national average.
  • Every $1 spent on water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs, highlighting its cost-effectiveness as a prevention measure.

Kentucky’s High Fluoridation Rates

Kentucky has maintained a consistently high rate of access to fluoridated water over the years:

  • The percentage of Kentucky’s population with access to fluoridated water has remained at 99.9% over recent years.
  • This high level of coverage reflects Kentucky’s strong commitment to water fluoridation as a public health measure.

Fluoridation Legislation in Kentucky

Fluoridation has been mandatory in Kentucky since 1966, contributing to the state’s high fluoridation rates. However, recent legislative activity has aimed to make water fluoridation optional for local municipalities:

  • House Bill 141 would remove the mandate that currently requires Kentucky towns with three thousand or more residents to add fluoride to their drinking water.
  • The bill’s progression has sparked debate about local control versus the statewide public health benefits of fluoridation.

Public Health Impact and Economic Benefits

Community water fluoridation is recognized as a major public health achievement that helps reduce cavities and provides significant economic benefits:

  • Water fluoridation reduces cavities by at least 25%.
  • Every $1 spent on water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.
  • Nationally, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems received fluoridated water in 2020, making Kentucky’s figure of 99.9% significantly above the national average.

Kentucky’s high rates of water fluoridation have played a crucial role in improving oral health outcomes for its residents. As legislative discussions continue, it is important to consider the proven benefits of fluoridation and the potential consequences of making it optional. Maintaining Kentucky’s commitment to this cost-effective public health measure can help ensure that future generations continue to enjoy the advantages of fluoridated water.

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. Distrust of fluoride ‘mind boggling’: Mineral is time-tested and a good thing, dentists say.” Kentucky Lantern, 2024.
  3. Kentucky Fluoridation Statistics 2021.” Fluoride Action Network, 2021.
  4. Kentucky Dentists Expect More Child Tooth Decay If Opt-Out Fluoride Bill Passes.” Public News Service, 2024.
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