Updated on March 15, 2024
3 min read

New Hampshire Water Fluoride: Updated Statistics

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Water fluoridation is a crucial public health measure that helps prevent tooth decay and promote oral health. In New Hampshire, the percentage of the population with access to fluoridated water has been gradually increasing over the years. However, the state still falls below the national average in terms of fluoridation coverage. This article explores the current state of water fluoridation in New Hampshire, highlighting key statistics and trends.

Here are some eye-opening statistics about water fluoridation in New Hampshire:

  • As of 2018, only 46.7% of New Hampshire’s population served by community water systems had access to fluoridated water, significantly below the national average of 72.7% in 2020.
  • New Hampshire does not mandate fluoridation statewide, leaving the decision to local governments. Municipalities can begin or discontinue fluoridation only through a referendum vote, which requires collecting petition signatures from 10% of registered voters.
  • While 75% of people served by community water systems nationwide receive fluoridated water, in New Hampshire, the rate is only 46%, indicating a need for improvement in expanding access to fluoridated water.

Access to Fluoridated Water in New Hampshire

The percentage of New Hampshire’s population with access to fluoridated water has been increasing over time.

  • In 1992, only 24.0% of the population had access to fluoridated water.
  • By 2018, this figure had nearly doubled to 46.7%, showing a positive trend in fluoridation coverage.

Despite this growth, New Hampshire still lags behind the national average in providing access to fluoridated water to its residents.

Comparison to National Averages

When compared to national figures, New Hampshire’s fluoridation coverage is significantly lower.

  • In 2020, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems received fluoridated water.
  • New Hampshire’s 2018 figure of 46.7% falls well below this national average.
  • Nationwide, 75% of people served by community water systems receive fluoridated water, while in New Hampshire, the rate is only 46%.

Legislation and Public Health Support

New Hampshire’s approach to water fluoridation is unique, as the state does not mandate fluoridation statewide.

  • Local governments control fluoridation policy in New Hampshire.
  • Municipalities can begin or discontinue fluoridation only by collecting petition signatures from 10% of registered voters.
  • If the petition is valid, a referendum vote on fluoridation must be held, and the majority opinion is honored for at least two years before the process can be repeated.

This local decision-making process plays a significant role in the implementation of water fluoridation policies within the state.

Public Health Impact

The lower rate of fluoridation in New Hampshire compared to the national average suggests that there is room for improvement in promoting oral health among its residents.

  • Nationwide, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems received fluoridated water in 2020.
  • In New Hampshire, only 46.7% of the population served by community water systems had access to fluoridated water in 2018.

Expanding access to fluoridated water could help reduce tooth decay and improve overall oral health in the state.

In conclusion, while New Hampshire has made progress in increasing access to fluoridated water over the years, the state still falls below the national average in fluoridation coverage. The local decision-making process for fluoridation policies has contributed to this lower rate. Increasing access to fluoridated water in New Hampshire could have a significant positive impact on the oral health of its residents, bringing the state closer to national benchmarks for fluoridation coverage.

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, 2020.
  2. New Hampshire Fluoridation Statistics.” Fluoride Action Network, accessed 2023.
  3. New Hampshire Oral Health Data.” New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, 2021.
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