Water fluoridation is the topping up of the levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the water to strengthen teeth against tooth decay. Fluorides are minerals found very commonly in the earth’s crust and in all water supplies. American scientists in the 1930s found that people living in towns with higher levels of fluoride in the water experienced less tooth decay than people living in areas with much lower levels of fluoride. Community water fluoridation began in America in 1945 and spread rapidly once its effectiveness against tooth decay became obvious.
Most Australian towns and cities were fluoridated in the 1960s and 70s, and today around 90% of Australians enjoy the decay fighting benefits of water fluoridation. Fluoridated water means fewer fillings, fewer extractions, and fewer visits to the dentist – resulting in healthier teeth, better smiles, and less pain and suffering.
Health and scientific authorities around the world have endorsed fluoridation for decades, and the number of people around the world drinking fluoridated water continues to grow. Where water fluoridation is impractical, many countries around the world use fluoridated salt or other forms of fluorides as alternatives.