Fluoridation of drinking water IS effective

“Fluoridation of drinking water IS effective.”

Many anti-fluoridation advocates will wrongly attempt to demonstrate that fluoridation of drinking water is ineffective, by comparing a cherry picked group of affluent first world communities to show that tooth decay is on the decrease regardless of the measure, as FAN do in the following graph.


However this is as sensible as stating that a decrease in road mortality is solely due to seat belts or education or roadside safety infrastructure (ie. stop signs, round-abouts, traffic lights etc) or non-tolerance to substance abuse and not because of all these factors collectively. Yet, clearly, it is a range of factors that are mutually supportive to maximise road safety.

The same is true of dental health and water fluoridation.

As anti-fluoridation advocates rely upon the NSW 2007 dental health survey, we can safely assume they support its findings and even within this report, on page 27, we find that an additional 13% of children in fluoridated areas were free from dental caries compared to children from non-fluoridated areas.

Looking at data from Ireland (collected from CAPP), the same downward trend in prevalence of dental caries can been seen in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas, however, in fluoridated areas, this rate is persistently lower than in non-fluoridated areas (something FAN’s graph above happily overlooks):

DMFT for 12-year-olds in Ireland both where fluoridated drinking water is used or excluded
DMFT for 12-year-olds in Ireland both where fluoridated drinking water is used or excluded

Seat beats, education, safety infrastructure, non-tolerance to substance abuse and other factors work hand-in-hand, all assisting to reduce road mortality. Likewise, accessibility to dental health services, education / personal dental hygiene, food and drink choice and fluoridated drinking water together collectively reduce the prevalence of dental caries. It is not one, but all measures, including fluoridation of drinking water, that are effective and mutually supportive.


Have you heard of any other anti-fluoridation arguments that I’ve not covered? Feel free to forward them to me via the post submissions forms here and, time pending, I’ll do what I can to provide a strong counter-argument based upon facts.