Community water fluoridation is considered the safest, most effective, cost-efficient and equitable means to provide protection from tooth decay in a community. In addition, it protects teeth and bones from infancy to old age. In 2010, almost 74% of Americans throughout the country (more than 204 million people) received fluoridated water.
Community water supplies were first fluoridated more than 60 years ago in the U.S. to prevent tooth decay. By preventing tooth decay, fluoridation helps prevent needless infection, pain, suffering, loss of teeth and many negative effects to overall health.
On November 5, 2007, the First 5 Commission of San Diego voted unanimously to allocate a portion of its funding to water districts in San Diego County for fluoridation. The first priority for the funding was the City of San Diego, as fluoridation of the city’s water benefits the greatest number of children ages 0 through 5: 112,210 children or 41.2% of the total 0 to 5 population countywide. Additionally, Olivenhain Municipal Water District began fluoridation in July 2013, and a project is underway with Sweetwater Authority.
Community Water Fluoridation is Good for Kids…and Adults
- Oral health is critical to overall health and a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school.
- The First 5 Commission of San Diego County is a trusted community partner dedicated to the health and well-being of children ages 0 through 5. The Commission has concluded that community water fluoridation is in the best interests of this target population.
- Community water fluoridation is the most cost-efficient way to promote strong oral health in children.
- Community water fluoridation is safe and effective for children and adults.
- Hundreds of community groups from throughout San Diego, the state and the nation, representing millions of individuals, support community water fluoridation.
Tooth Decay in San Diego’s Young Children
- Tooth decay is one of the most common and preventable diseases in infants and young children.
- By the time California children enter kindergarten, more than half have already experienced dental decay, 28% have untreated decay and 19% have rampant decay.
- The estimated cost of treating rampant cavities in a child is $6,000 - $15,000.
- Only 55% of 2-5 year olds in San Diego County have ever had a dental visit and 28% do not have dental insurance.
- Estimates indicate that approximately 150,000 pre-school children in San Diego County suffer from early childhood dental disease.
- Poor children and children of color are much more likely to have tooth decay and suffer the consequences of untreated disease.
Dental Care Associations
For questions and answers about community water fluoridation, click here to view the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Community Water Fluoridation Fact Sheet