CDC releases new statistics on U.S. water fluoridation

Some 72% of the U.S. population -- 196 million people -- are on fluoridated public water systems, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This is an increase from 2006, when 69% of the U.S. population, or 180 million people, received fluoridated water through public water systems.

Twenty-seven states plus the District of Columbia have achieved the Healthy People 2010 objective of having 75% of their population on receiving fluoridated water. With these most recent statistics, two additional states, Delaware and Oklahoma, have achieved the Healthy People objective.

The District of Columbia has the highest percentage of people receiving fluoridated water (100%), followed by Maryland with 99.8%. Hawaii has the lowest percentage (10.8%).

A review by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services found that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by 30% to 50% in children and adolescents. A study published in the Journal of Dental Research (May 2007, Vol. 86:5, pp. 410-415) found that fluoridation prevents about 27% of cavities in adults, according to the CDC.

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