CDAA Position Statement – Water Fluoridation
Canadian Dental Assistants Association
The Canadian Dental Assistants Association (CDAA) firmly endorses the fluoridation of community water supplies as the safest, most important and cost-effective public health measure for reducing dental health disparities across Canada and maintaining oral health.
The CDAA supports the following:
- Establishment of a national plan for the use of fluoride administered through community water sources.
- Development of a national public health media campaign outlining the benefits of water fluoridation with a focus on 60 years of sound scientific research.
- Improving awareness and recognition of the pivotal role that oral health plays in overall general health and well-being.
- Increasing collaboration between dental practitioners and all levels of government, including municipal.
The CDAA recommends the following:
- Continuation of scientific research that evaluates the value, safety and efficacy of community water fluoridation.
- Participation of oral health practitioners in a leadership capacity in all activities related to the initiation or continuation of a community water supply program through collaboration with local governmental authorities.
- Continued, careful monitoring of existing fluoridated community water supplies to ensure that they remain within the Maximum Acceptable Concentration of 1.5mg/L, as per the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (2010), established by Health Canada.
Tooth decay is a serious public-health problem facing Canadians, which is largely preventable, yet it remains the number one chronic disease, among Canadians.3
According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives,1 a combination of fluorides and dental sealants can prevent nearly all cavities, yet only 45% of Canadians live in communities with fluoridated water supplies.
Water fluoridation is the process of adding fluoride to a community’s water supply in order to ensure that its fluoride concentration level reaches a milligram per litre ratio that has been recommended by health industry practitioners, as ideal for maintaining oral health and preventing dental caries.
For over 60 years, the safety and efficacy of community water fluoridation has been researched and reviewed, resulting in a body of data of more than 3,000 published studies worldwide.
Some key conclusions of the scientific research include:
- Community water fluoridation is safe. The weight of evidence from all currently available studies does not support a link between exposure to fluoride in drinking water at 1.5mg/L and any adverse health effects.4
- Community water fluoridation is an effective public health method to reduce the occurrence of dental caries.4 The World Health Organization cites that the incidence of dental caries has increased and may further increase due in part to an inadequate exposure to fluorides.5
- Community water fluoridation is a public health measure that reduces oral health disparities across all socio-economic levels. People benefiting the most from water fluoridation are those most susceptible to tooth decay, namely the poorest and most disadvantaged members of society.2
- Monitoring of fluoridated community water supplies is required to ensure consistency in concentrations and to ensure the target fluoride level is applied at all times.4
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. (2011). Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is: The Future of Dental Care in Canada.
- FDI World Dental Federation. (2008, September 26). FDI Policy Statement: Promoting Dental Health through Water Fluoridation. Retrieved from http://www.fdiworldental.org
- Health Canada. (2010). Canadian Health Measures Survey 2007-2009 – Oral Health Component. Ottawa: Government of Canada.
- Health Canada. (2010). Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality: Guideline Technical Document – Fluoride. Ottawa.
- World Health Organization. (2007). World Health Organization Global Policy for Improvement of Oral Health. World Health Assembly 2007. Geneva.