• Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found both in surface water (water from snowmelt, rivers and streams) as well as groundwater.
• Fluoride's benefits for teeth were discovered in the 1930s by scientists who saw extremely low tooth decay rates among people whose water supplies had a significant amount of natural fluoride.
• Fluoride helps teeth resist decay by strengthening the protective layer of tooth enamel, and can reverse newly formed cavities.
• Fluoride has been added to U.S. drinking water supplies since 1945.
• Of the 50 largest cities in the U.S., 43 fluoridate their drinking water.
• The benefits of fluoride in drinking water have been observed in numerous studies and have been shown for people of all ages. Reductions in the rate of tooth decay in fluoridated communities have ranged from 30 to 60 percent for baby teeth, from 20 to 40 percent for teeth of children from 8 to 12 years old and from 15 to 35 percent for teenagers, adults and seniors.