Office of Oral Health

Our mission is to improve, promote and protect the oral health of Massachusetts residents.

75 Years of Community Water Fluoridation in the U.S.

For 75 years, community water fluoridation (CWF) has been widely recognized as a safe and effective public health intervention to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride inhibits the breakdown of enamel and enhances its resistance to tooth decay. Communities across the United States, and worldwide, adjust the fluoride concentration in their public water supply to the optimal level of 0.7 ppm for tooth decay prevention as recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service.

Focusing on prevention is important for individuals to avoid oral disease. CWF is a safe and effective public health practice to provide the benefits of fluoride to all residents regardless of income, insurance status, and ability to access oral health care. Every major public health and medical organization, and over 2000 studies and peer-reviewed papers, support the benefits and safety of CWF in preventing tooth decay. This includes the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the past five U.S. Surgeon Generals.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health strongly supports community water fluoridation as a safe, cost effective, and proven practice that promotes good oral health within our communities.

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Who we serve

Our office seeks to assure all residents have access to dental services. To do so, we ensure publicly supported dental programs are well managed and coordinated, and encourage all communities to use prevention programs, such as community water fluoridation and school fluoride and sealant programs.

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