Community Water Fluoridation is an effective, safe and affordable way to prevent and reduce tooth decay for everyone.
Along with brushing teeth twice a day, eating healthy food and avoiding sugary drinks, water fluoridation helps to prevent tooth decay.
Over half of children, and over a third of adults, don’t brush twice daily with the recommended fluoride toothpaste – so water fluoridation is particularly important. (Ministry of Health’s NZ Oral Health Survey 2009)
Over 60 years of international and New Zealand studies show that children and adults living in areas with water fluoridation have significantly less tooth decay than those living in non-fluoridated areas.
The NZ Oral Health Survey 2009 shows that on average New Zealand children have 40% less decay experience (i.e. decayed, missing or filled teeth) in areas with fluoridation than in areas without it.
Overwhelming evidence from decades of having Community Water Fluoridation is that it is safe. ‘It is absolutely clear that at doses used in New Zealand to adjust the natural level to one that is consistent with beneficial effects (0.7–1.0ppm), there is no risk from fluoride in the water.’ Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister's Science Advisory Committee.
There is strong evidence that community water fluoridation is cost-effective – saving much more in dental costs for individuals than it costs to run fluoridation programmes.
For every dollar that is spent on water fluoridation, $9 are saved in dental care costs. Some of these savings are seen by the health system, but it is mostly individual New Zealanders who benefit - paying for fewer fillings and tooth extractions. (Sapere Research Group, 2015)