For more than 60 years, community water fluoridation has been a major factor in the decline of tooth decay in Vermont.
With 1/5 of all childhood health care costs related to dental care, let's continue to support this public health solution.
Community Water Fluoridation in Vermont
- In 1952, the City of Burlington became the first Vermont community to provide fluoridated water to its residents.
- Since then, public water systems throughout Vermont have been providing this important community dental health measure.
- Regardless of socioeconomic status or ability to obtain dental care, Vermonters receive important dental benefits simply by drinking fluoridated water.
- In Vermont, the cost of providing fluoridated water is a little over one dollar per person per year. Research shows that every $1 invested in fluoridation saves $38 in unnecessary dental costs. For about the same cost of one dental restoration, a lifetime of fluoridation can be provided per person.
Evidence continues to reaffirm that community water fluoridation is effective, safe, inexpensive, and is associated with significant cost savings.
— The Institute of Medicine
- Based on 60 years of research studies, fluoridation at the optimal level poses no adverse health risks.
- Research and practical experience indicate that fluoridation has played an important role in the reduction of tooth decay (20 percent to 40 percent in children), and tooth loss in adults (20 percent to 40 percent).
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized community water fluoridation as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
The Science Behind Community Water Fluoridation
Vermont State Toxicologist Sarah Vose discusses the science behind community water fluoridation. (8 min)
All communities that fluoridate their water adjust the natural occurring fluoride concentration to the level recommended for optimal health.
- Vermont's Guide to Fluoride Levels in Public Water Systems
This guide includes for health care providers to determine at a glance, the level of fluoridation a family is already receiving from their community water system prior to prescribing any supplementation.
Adjusting Natural Water Fluoride Levels
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in rock formations and soil. All water sources in Vermont have varying levels of natural fluoride.
Before water fluoridation can be considered, the natural fluoride content is analyzed. The amount is adjusted based on the natural fluoride level in a geographic area.
Extensive research by the United States Public Health Service (the agency responsible for public health) has established optimal fluoride levels in the United States. In Vermont, the optimal fluoride level of 0.7 parts fluoride per million gallons of water (ppm) has been established. Lake Champlain’s natural fluoride level is 0.2 ppm. Water from Lake Champlain is adjusted to meet the 0.7 ppm standard.