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Dental Care

Community Water Fluoridation in Alberta

​​​​​​​​​​​​What is community water fluoridation

Although there’s fluoride in all fresh water, community water fluoridation adjusts the fluoride level in the public water supply to prevent tooth decay.

What are the benefits of adding fluoride to the community water supply?

Tooth decay can affect your health and well-being. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel to help prevent tooth decay. Research shows that people living in areas with water fluoridation have less tooth decay.

Community water fluoridation is the most cost-effective fluoride method for preventing tooth decay. When a community fluoridates their water supply, everyone in the community benefits.

Water fluoridation and using fluoride toothpaste together help prevent tooth decay.

It’s also important to eat healthy and take good care of your teeth.

Who looks after community water fluoridation?

Trained water treatment plant operators adjust the level of fluoride in drinking water. Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines outline the right level of fluoride needed to help prevent tooth decay.

Is water fluoridation safe?

Yes. For over 70 years Health Canada and other public health agencies have supported community water fluoridation. Research shows that water fluoridation isn’t harmful to people or the environment.

What is dental fluorosis?

Dental fluorosis looks like thin white lines on teeth that usually only a dentist can see. It doesn’t affect how teeth work and may make teeth less likely to decay. Dental fluorosis happens when teeth have been exposed to high levels of fluoride during tooth development, up to 32 months of age.

Why do some communities decide not to adjust the fluoride in their water?

Decisions to fluoridate community water supplies are led by your city or town. People have different opinions on community water fluoridation. Community water fluoridation is supported by Alberta Health Services (AHS) and many other health professional organizations.

If you are interested in learning more about water fluoridation, go to the websites below and search “water fluoridation”.

If you still have questions, contact the AHS Provincial Oral Health Office, POHO@ahs.ca.

Current as of: August 30, 2016

Author: Provincial Oral Health Office, Alberta Health Services