US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

One of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century

A consistent advocate and champion of fluoridation over many years has been the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  In April 1999, when reviewing the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century in one of its weekly MMWR bulletins, the CDC said: “Fluoridation safely and inexpensively benefits both children and adults by effectively preventing tooth decay….Fluoridation has played an important role in the reductions in tooth decay (40%-70% in children) and of tooth loss in adults (40%-60%).”

Especially beneficial for communities of local socio-economic status

In the same MMWR bulletin the CDC said: ““Water fluoridation is especially beneficial for communities of low socio-economic status. These communities have a disproportionate burden of dental caries and have less access than higher income communities to dental-care services and other sources of fluoride. Water fluoridation may help reduce such dental health disparities.

No credible evidence of harm to health

Commenting on claims by opponents of water fluoridation that fluoridation increased the risk for cancer, Down syndrome, heart disease, osteoporosis and bone fracture, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, low intelligence, Alzheimer disease and allergic reactions, the CDC said that “no credible evidence supports an association between fluoridation and any of these conditions.”

Effective in reducing tooth decay across the lifespan

More recently, in 2015, the CDC’s oral health division director Katherine Weno reaffirmed CDC’s strong support for fluoridation in a statement on the safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation.  It said: “Water fluoridation is beneficial for reducing and controlling tooth decay and promoting oral health across the lifespan. Evidence shows that water fluoridation prevents tooth decay by providing frequent and consistent contact with low levels of fluoride.”