Updated on May 24, 2024
2 min read

Washington 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 Washington state, a significant portion of the population has access to fluoridated water, although the percentage is slightly below the national average. This article delves into the current state of water fluoridation in Washington, providing key statistics and insights into its impact on public health.

Before we dive into the specifics of Washington, let’s take a look at a few eye-opening national statistics:

  • In 2020, 72.7% of the U.S. population on community water systems, or 209,145,650 people, had access to fluoridated water.
  • The Healthy People 2030 objective aims for 77.1% of people served by community water systems to receive water with the optimum level of fluoride.
  • By 2006, 69.2% of the U.S. population on public water systems were receiving fluoridated water.
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Percentage of Population with Access to Fluoridated Water in Washington

In 2018, 63.9% of Washington’s population served by community water systems (CWS) had access to fluoridated water.

  • This percentage has remained relatively stable over the years, with 63.9% in 2016, 2014, and 2012.
  • However, there was a slight decrease from 62.9% in 2006.
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Comparison to National Averages

Washington’s figure of 63.9% in 2018 is below the national average of 73.0% for the population on community water systems receiving fluoridated drinking water.

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Legislation and Public Health Support

Washington State does not require public water systems to add fluoride to drinking water. The decision to fluoridate drinking water is a local community decision.

  • After a community decides to fluoridate its drinking water, the Washington State Department of Health provides technical assistance to ensure fluoridation treatment meets fluoride safety standards.

Public Health Impact

In Washington, 46% of the population (approximately 3.3 million) received fluoride-treated drinking water.

  • Some areas in Washington have naturally occurring fluoride, and some Group A public water systems fluoridate drinking water.
  • An individual’s exposure to fluoride in drinking water may be uncertain due to their consumption of bottled water and beverages or consumption from a nonfluoridated water supply.

These statistics reflect Washington’s approach to water fluoridation, with a significant portion of the population having access to fluoridated water, though slightly below the national average. Local decision-making processes play a crucial role in the implementation of water fluoridation policies within the state, and the Washington State Department of Health works to ensure that fluoridation treatments meet safety standards when communities choose to fluoridate their water.

While Washington’s percentage of population with access to fluoridated water is below the national average, it is important to recognize the state’s efforts in promoting oral health through various means, including supporting communities that choose to fluoridate their water and ensuring the safety of fluoridation treatments. As more communities in Washington consider the benefits of water fluoridation, the state’s percentage of population with access to fluoridated water may increase, further contributing to improved oral health outcomes for its residents.

Last updated on May 24, 2024
4 Sources Cited
Last updated on May 24, 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. Fluoridation Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020.
  2. 2018 Water Fluoridation Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018.
  3. Fluoride in Drinking Water. Washington State Department of Health, n.d.
  4. Fluoridated Drinking Water in Washington. Washington State Department of Health, n.d.
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