IT IS a professional truism that prevention is preferable to treatment for any disease. The simple expedient of fluoridating communal water supplies offers effective prevention of the most common disease in our nation-dental decay, which affects over 95% of our population. Water fluoridation, the least expensive dental public health measure for the control of caries, demonstrates its greatest efficacy for children, who may realize a new dental decay reduction of 60% to 70%.
Adults also receive considerable benefit, though not to the same dramatic extent. At this time when the capabilities of health care providers are strained to the utmost to meet the demands placed on them, and more and more of the population view health care as the right of every citizen, it is absolutely essential that every proven public health measure be implemented.
Value Established Beyond Question
Extensive research, conducted over a period of 35 years, has established
Smith EH. Fluoridation of Water Supply. JAMA. 1974;230(11):1569. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240110061025