Updated on May 20, 2024
2 min read

Massachusetts Water Fluoride: Updated Statistics

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Water fluoridation is a widely used public health measure aimed at reducing tooth decay and improving oral health. In Massachusetts, a significant portion of the population has access to fluoridated water, though the coverage has decreased in recent years and is below the national average. This article will explore the current state of water fluoridation in Massachusetts, its impact on public health, and the decision-making process surrounding its implementation.

Before diving into the specifics of Massachusetts, it’s essential to understand the national context of water fluoridation. In 2020, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems received fluoridated water, serving over 209 million people. The Healthy People 2030 objective aims to increase this coverage to 77.1%.

  • As of 2018, only 57.3% of Massachusetts’s population had access to fluoridated water, a decrease from 70.4% in 2012 and 2014.
  • Every dollar spent on community water fluoridation in Massachusetts saves at least $38 in costs for dental treatment.
  • In 2020, Massachusetts’s fluoridation coverage was significantly below the national average of 72.7%.
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Community Water Systems and Fluoridation Coverage

Massachusetts has 65 community water systems that currently fluoridate, providing drinking water to 133 communities and over 520,000 people across the state.

  • The decision to fluoridate a water supply in Massachusetts is made by the local municipality and is not mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the state government.
  • Water is fluoridated by public referendum, where people in all the communities served by a water district vote to add fluoride.

Public Health Impact and Cost Savings

Community water fluoridation has been recognized by the CDC as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Its implementation in Massachusetts has led to significant cost savings in dental treatment.

  • For every dollar spent on community water fluoridation in Massachusetts, at least $38 is saved in dental treatment costs.
  • Despite the proven benefits, Massachusetts’s fluoridation coverage has decreased from 70.4% in 2012 and 2014 to 57.3% in 2018.

Comparing Massachusetts to National Averages

While a significant portion of Massachusetts’s population has access to fluoridated water, the state’s coverage falls below the national average.

  • In 2020, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems received fluoridated water.
  • Massachusetts’s 2018 figure of 57.3% is considerably lower than the national average, highlighting the need for increased efforts to expand fluoridation coverage in the state.

The water fluoridation landscape in Massachusetts reflects the state’s approach to this important public health measure. While a significant portion of the population benefits from fluoridated water, there is room for improvement in terms of coverage and consistency with national averages. As local municipalities continue to make decisions regarding fluoridation, it is crucial to consider the proven benefits for oral health and the potential for substantial cost savings in dental treatment.

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Last updated on May 20, 2024
3 Sources Cited
Last updated on May 20, 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 National Water Fluoridation Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020.
  2. Community Water Fluoridation Status. Mass.gov, accessed 2023.
  3. 2018 Water Fluoridation Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018.
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