Community Water Fluoridation Program
The Oklahoma State Department of Health supports community water fluoridation and recognizes the practice as safe, cost-effective and beneficial to all who drink and use the water. For more than 70 years, fluoridated water has resulted in a remarkable decline in the prevalence and severity of dental decay. Studies prove that even today, the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water reduces dental decay by 18-40 percent.
It is the ideal public health measure because no compliance is required - just drink and use the water. Beverages and foods processed in fluoridated communities benefit all who consume these products. Widespread community water fluoridation prevents cavities and saves money, both for families and the health care system. For most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.
The fluoridation program is unique because fluoride is added to the water supply solely to reduce dental decay. The addition of fluoride to a water supply does not change the taste, color, odor, or cause any other such changes to water. The only change is the reduction of dental disease for children as well as adults. Everyone should know that oral health is integral to overall health, and a key component to quality of life.
It is recommended that all applicable public water systems in Oklahoma be fluoridated to the optimal level for oral health. The health department dental program continues to have the major promotional role, with assistance from the Oklahoma Dental Association, academic institutions, and health advocacy groups. The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is the regulatory agency.
The Oklahoma Community Water Fluoridation Plan, developed in 2012 has been updated. Click here to view the current plan Oklahoma Community Water Fluoridation Plan.
For more information on community water fluoridation, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Dental Association, and the Campaign for Dental Health Websites. There is an interactive program on the CDC site, My Water's Fluoride, where you can check the fluoridation status of your community. A number of researchers and health organizations have publicly spoken about the scientific evidence supporting fluoridation. These links can be accessed on the Web Addresses for Additional Dental Information in the left navigation pane.