Key Points

  • Dental caries (tooth decay) is still a major public health problem.
  • Major inequalities in dental health persist between different social groups.
  • Fluoridation replicates a naturally occurring benefit.
  • There is no ‘right’ to drink fluoride-free water, merely a personal preference.
  • Fluoride is a nutrient, not a drug.
  • There is a duty to protect citizens, especially the most vulnerable.
  • A ‘stewardship model’ of society places emphasis on caring for one another.

One in a Million

Our One in a Million online database includes a comprehensive section on the ethics of water fluoridation.

Summary of Data Published Post 2012/2013

The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC 2017a) notes that “Water fluoridation demonstrates community solidarity, as it is an action taken by the government to look after the dental health of all citizens, especially children. It is a generally acknowledged responsibility of governments to act in support of good health in ensuring things like clean air and safe food. Many people see fluoridation in the same way”.