Updated on May 17, 2024
2 min read

Montana Water Fluoride: Updated Statistics

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Montana, a state known for its stunning natural landscapes and outdoor recreation, has been grappling with the issue of water fluoridation for decades. While fluoride is often added to public water supplies to help prevent tooth decay, Montana has relatively low levels of fluoridation compared to the national average. Let’s dive into the current state of water fluoridation in Montana and explore some key statistics.

As of 2018, only 30.7% of Montana’s population served by community water systems had access to fluoridated water. This is significantly below the national average of 73.0% for the same year. Montana ranks 46th among states for the percentage of its population receiving fluoridated water, highlighting the state’s low adoption of this public health measure.

  • In 2018, just 30.7% of Montana’s population served by community water systems had access to fluoridated water, compared to 73.0% nationally.
  • Montana ranks 46th among states for the percentage of its population receiving fluoridated water.
  • Only 34% of Montana residents resided in communities with optimally fluoridated water in 2014, compared to 74% among the U.S. population.
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Fluoridation Access Over Time

Montana has seen a slight increase in the percentage of the population with access to fluoridated water over the past decade.

  • The percentage of Montana’s population with access to fluoridated water increased from 30.0% in 2008 to 30.7% in 2018.
  • Despite this small increase, Montana still lags far behind the national average for fluoridation coverage.
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Local Control and Public Health Impact

Montana does not have a statewide mandate for water fluoridation, leaving the decision to local governments.

  • Local governments in Montana control fluoridation policy, with decisions made at the local level.
  • The lack of a statewide mandate has contributed to Montana’s low fluoridation rates compared to other states.
  • In 2014, only 34% of Montana residents lived in communities with optimally fluoridated water, compared to 74% nationwide.

Montana’s low levels of water fluoridation have implications for public health, particularly in terms of dental health. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel and making it more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria. Communities without access to fluoridated water may face higher rates of dental caries and associated health problems.

In conclusion, Montana’s water fluoridation levels remain well below the national average, with local decision-making processes playing a significant role in the implementation of fluoridation policies. As the state continues to grapple with this public health issue, it will be important to consider the potential benefits of increased fluoridation access for improving dental health outcomes across Montana’s diverse communities.

Last updated on May 17, 2024
5 Sources Cited
Last updated on May 17, 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. 2018 Water Fluoridation Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018.
  2. 2008 Water Fluoridation Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008.
  3. The Burden of Oral Disease in Montana. Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, 2020.
  4. Administrative Rules of Montana, 17.38.230 – Fluoridation. Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School.
  5. 2020 Water Fluoridation Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020.
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