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Evidence-Based Resource Summary

Strength of Evidence: 
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Year Published: 

Water Fluoridation for the Prevention of Dental Caries

Description of Resource: 
Tooth decay is a major public health problem in most industrialized countries, affecting 60% to 90% of school children. Community water fluoridation began in the United States in 1945 and health authorities consider it a key strategy for preventing dental caries (cavities). This systematic review aimed to evaluate the effects of water fluoridation on dental caries and dental fluorosis (marks on teeth). It identified 107 studies, which mostly date from prior to 1975. It found that water fluoridation is effective at reducing tooth decay among children, but it did not find any evidence on the benefits of water fluoridation for adults. It found a strong association between dental fluorosis and water fluoride levels.

Evidence-Based Resource Details

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Developed By: 
Cochrane Review
Developer Type: 
Non-Federal Government
Healthy People 2020 Topic Area(s): 
Oral Health
Healthy People 2020 Objectives: 
Resource Type: 
Systematic Review
Iheozor-Ejiofor Z, Worthington HV, Walsh T, O'Malley L, Clarkson JE, Macey R, et al. Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries. Cochrane Database Syst Rev [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2018 Apr 30];(6). Art. No.: CD010856. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010856.pub2. Available from: