The format of this page is

  • A summary of the key points relevant up to 2020
  • An online and printable version of the 2012/3 publication “one in a million”
  • A summary of the main points raised by more recent papers and reports
  • Access to a list of the key papers and reports published since 2012/3
  • Access to an archive of other reports etc.

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 or medication.
  • 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.

The ethics of water fluoridation (3rd edition, 2012)

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”.