Did You Know? Check out these 29 random fluoride facts

January 31, 2013

You may learn something new or ignite a spark in your fluoride fact memory.

You may learn something new or ignite a spark in your fluoride fact memory.

1.    For most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.

2.    The fluoride content of fresh solid foods in the U.S. generally ranges from 0.01 to 1.0 part per million.

3.    Over 405 million people in more than 60 countries worldwide utilize fluoridated water.

4.    The average cost for a community to fluoridate its water is estimated to range from approximately 50 cents a year per person in large communities to approximately $3 a year per person in small communities.

5.    On Jan. 25, 1945, Grand Rapids, Mich., became the world's first city to adjust the level of fluoride in its water supply.

6.    In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named fluoridation of drinking water one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century.

7.    Approximately 50 percent of the fluoride ingested daily is removed from the body by the kidneys.

8.    In the U.S., the natural level of fluoride in ground water varies from very low levels to over 4 ppm. The fluoride level of the oceans ranges from 1.2 to 1.4 ppm.

9.    The fluoride content of any local public or community water supply can be obtained by contacting the local water supplier or the local/county/state health department.

10.    Fluoride is one of more than 40 different chemicals/additives that may be used to treat water in the U.S. Most are added for aesthetic or convenience purposes such as to improve the odor or taste, prevent natural cloudiness or prevent staining of clothes or porcelain.

11.    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set an enforceable federal drinking water standard for fluoride at 4.0 mg/L.

12.    Fluoride additives are valuable byproducts produced as a result of producing phosphate fertilizer.

13.    Each spring as part of the yearly Community Water Fluoridation Awards program, the ADA, Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors and the CDC Division of Oral Health compile a list of water systems/communities in the U.S. that have adopted community water fluoridation in the past year. This list is posted on the ADA website at http://www.ada.org/goto/fluoride.

14.    Jacksonville, Fla., and El Paso, Texas, are the two known cities in the U.S. that are naturally fluoridated.

15.    The American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates first endorsed fluoridation in 1951.

16.    Social scientists have conducted studies to examine why fluoridation fails when put to a public vote. Factors include: lack of funding, public and professional apathy, the failure of many legislators and community leaders to take a stand because of perceived controversy and low voter turnout.

17.    Opposition to fluoridation has existed since the initiation of the first community programs in 1945 and continues today.

18.    No court has ever determined fluoridation to be unlawful.

19.    Fluorosilicic acid is the additive used to fluoridate the vast majority of community water systems in the U.S.

20.    Fluoridated milk has been suggested as another alternative to community water fluoridation in countries outside the U.S.

21.    The U.S. EPA recognizes that fluoride in children’s drinking water at levels of approximately 1.0 ppm reduces the number of dental cavities.

22.    There are no confirmed cases of allergy to fluoride, or of any positive skin testing in human or animal models.

23.    It was in 1991 that the ADA began requiring fluoride toothpaste manufacturers to include the following language on all ADA-Accepted toothpastes: “Do not swallow. Use only a pea-sized amount for children under six. To prevent swallowing, children under six years of age should be supervised in the use of toothpaste.”

24.    Since 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required the label language, “If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately” on all fluoride toothpastes sold in the U.S.

25.    After ingestion of fluoride, such as drinking a glass of optimally-fluoridated water, the majority of the fluoride is absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the blood stream.

26.    Individuals who drink water processed by home water treatment systems as their primary source of water could be losing the decay preventive effects of optimally-fluoridated water available from their community water supply.

27.    Enacted in 1996, the FDA required fluoride content of bottled water to be listed on the label only if fluoride is added during processing.

28.    No significant decrease in dental decay was seen after fluoridation was discontinued in 1990 in Chemniz and Plauen, located in former East Germany.

29.    Fluoride is present in water as “ions” or electrically charged atoms.

Information obtained from the American Dental Association.