Evidence continues to reaffirm that community water fluoridation is effective, safe, inexpensive, and is associated with significant cost savings.
— The Institute of Medicine
- Evidence-Based Support for Fluoridation
- Adjusting Natural Water Fluoride Levels
- School-based Fluoride Mouthrinse Program
- Guide to Fluoride Levels in Public Water Systems
- 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.
- 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 U.S. 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.
- 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 1.0 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 1.0 ppm standard.
The School-based Fluoride Mouthrinse Program is an important tool in our efforts to help reduce tooth decay among Vermont’s school aged children.
The School-based Fluoride Mouthrinse Program has been in existence for 30 years, providing weekly fluoride mouthrinse to children in schools that do not have community water fluoridation. Each year, over 90 percent of eligible Vermont schools participate in the program.
Fluoride mouthrinse can reduce new tooth decay.
Studies show that new tooth decay can be reduced up to 30 percent by rinsing weekly with a topical 0.2 percent solution fluoride mouthrinse.
- Systemic fluoride is swallowed and benefits the teeth before and after they erupt in the mouth.
- Topical fluoride is applied directly to teeth. Topical fluoride benefits teeth that have already erupted into the mouth.
The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research and the Vermont Department of Health Office of Oral Health recommend the following guidelines:
- Children should receive one, but only one, source of systemic fluoride together with multiple sources of topical fluoride for maximum protection against tooth decay.
- Children between 6 months and 16 years of age should receive fluoride supplements if they do not receive adequate fluoride in their drinking water.
For more information about Vermont’s School-based Fluoride Mouthrinse Program, please call 802-863-7341.