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.