Community Water Fluoridation
- reduces cavities
- is not associated with adverse health effects
- is cost-effective
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral which is present in almost all water sources. Community water fluoridation is the process by which a water system operator adds fluoride in controlled amounts to raise naturally low fluoride levels to the optimal level of 0.7mg/L or 0.7ppm for dental health.
Fluoride is added to London’s drinking water to prevent cavities in children and adults. Cavities are the result of acid in the mouth that removes minerals from the enamel on the surface of the teeth. Acid forms when bacteria in the mouth react with sugars in food or drinks. Fluoride works by stopping or even reversing the effect of acid on the enamel as small amounts of fluoride in saliva bathe the tooth.
Cavities are a very common health condition in children. Preventing cavities in adults is also very important because more adults are keeping their teeth as they age and few programs exist to help adults who cannot afford dental care.
Research into the health effects of water fluoridation has been ongoing for over 70 years. Over 90 well-respected national and international organizations support fluoridation:
- World Health Organization
- Pan American Health Organization
- FDI World Dental Federation
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
- Health Canada
- Canadian Medical Association
- Canadian Pediatric Society
- Canadian Dental Association
- American Dental Association
For more information about community water fluoridation, please see these Health Unit documents:
- Review of the U.S. National Research Council Report to the Board of Health (2011) (PDF 2.5MB)
- Fluoridation and Oral Health Presentation to the Board of Health (2011) (PDF 326KB)
- Drinking Water Fluoridation Report to the City of London’s Civic Works Committee (2012) (PDF 844KB)
To speak to a Public Health Inspector on the Environmental Health Team about drinking water or water quality, please call 519-663-5317 ext. 2300.
Last modified on: June 27, 2014
- Review of the U.S. National Research Council Report (PDF 2.5MB)
- Fluoridation and Oral Health Presentation (PDF 326KB)
- Drinking Water Fluoridation Report (PDF 844KB)
- Fact Sheet Fluoridation for the City of Londons Drinking Water (PDF 84KB)