Following the endorsement of health and dental organisations worldwide in 2011, about 435 million people now receive fluoridated water from public sources. Health institutions state that drinking fluoridated water at a safe concentration level has substantial public health and economic advantages. In 2012, the CDC lists public water fluoridation as one of the greatest public achievements of our time. So what makes fluoridated water so special?
For 70 years, the US have benefited from drinking water with fluoride, in addition to using toothpaste, which contains higher levels of the chemical compound. The benefits of fluoride to oral health are well-documented. Enough levels of fluoride help prevent tooth decay and cavities.
The motivation for community water fluoridation is a lot similar to adding iodized salt to prevent goitre and mental retardation. It is most beneficial to industrialised countries, particularly those in the lower socioeconomic status. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that, if received at an adequate level, fluoride is a safe and effective oral medication with little to no adverse effect on the appearance of teeth and overall health of a person.
The implementation of public water fluoridation is not just a public health measure, it seems. Some studies expand the practice as a measure to bridge oral health care inequalities between the rich and poor. Researchers suggest that providing community-wide fluoridated water is the most economical and effective method to prevent tooth decay, particularly among children and the poor.
Public water fluoridation is essentially a practice to reduce social disparity in oral care, helping the masses prevent tooth decay. Enchandental states that tooth decay is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases and one of the most expensive to treat. If delivered at safe levels, community water fluoridation saves money for families and the entire healthcare system.
Community-wide water fluoridation is a great public health achievement because it is for the benefit of all. It also advocates for the less-privileged sections of society and millions of schoolchildren who are highly susceptible to tooth decay.