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Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can help strengthen teeth and prevent dental health problems. Water fluoridation is the process of adding fluoride to public drinking water supplies to reduce tooth decay.
Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first U.S. city to fluoridate its public water supply in 1945. Many other cities have since followed suit.
After using dental products with fluoride, fluoridated water reduces tooth decay by another 25% among children and adults.1 It's recommended to have 0.7 mg of fluoride per liter of drinking water.7
Here are some key statistics about water fluoridation in Kentucky:2,3
This graph shows the percentage of the population in Kentucky with access to fluoridated water from 2008 to 2018. It shows that access to fluoridated water has remained consistently high, with only a slight decrease in 2018.
Kentucky has consistently ranked in the top 5 states in the US over the past four years, indicating a steady improvement in the state's overall ranking.
Water fluoridation is a cost-effective and efficient way to help reduce cavities. Drinking water with fluoride makes teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria, and sugars in the mouth. Good fluoride levels in water might even reverse early signs of tooth decay.
According to the CDC:4
Water fluoridation is especially important for low-income families, who often don't have access to routine dental care. It helps ensure preventive dental care is available.
In 2018, 207,426,536 people in the U.S. received fluoridated water. This is a 60.1% increase from 1951.6
The past years have shown steady growth in the number of people with access to fluoridated water. Based on this information, we can infer the trend will continue.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is targeting that 77.1% of the population should have access to fluoridated water. According to their website's latest information, they're about to reach this target.8
Aside from water, fluoride can be found in other sources, including:
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