The ADA and WSDA support water fluoridation to prevent dental disease; however, only slightly more than half of Washington residents are served by water systems that provide fluoride at levels optimum for dental health.
Fluoride is nature's cavity fighter, occurring naturally in the earth's crust, in combination with other minerals in rocks and soil. Small amounts of fluoride occur naturally in all water sources, and varying amounts of the mineral are found in all foods and beverages. Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the natural level of fluoride to a concentration sufficient to protect against tooth decay.
The ADA's policies regarding community water fluoridation are based upon generally-accepted scientific knowledge drawn from the efforts of nationally recognized scientists who have conducted research using the scientific method, have drawn appropriate balanced conclusions based on their research findings and have published their results in referred (peer-reviewed) professional journals that are widely held or circulated. Confirmation of scientific findings also reinforces the validity of existing studies.
Water fluoridation has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century. Nearly 100 national and international organizations recognize the public health benefits of community water fluoridation for preventing dental decay, including the World Health Organization, the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.