Community Water Fluoridation

The Virginia Board of Health recommends that all public water systems in Virginia be optimally fluoridated. The Town of Fries and the City of Lynchburg were the first communities to begin water fluoridation in Virginia back in 1952. Now, nearly 6.7 million Virginians benefit from receiving optimally fluoridated drinking water. Over 96% of all Virginians served by community water in Virginia benefit from community water fluoridation. It is considered one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the past 100 years.

Why is Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) Important?

  • Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of early childhood. It is five times more prevalent than asthma.
  • CWF reduces tooth decay by about 25 percent.
  • The benefits of fluoridation are long-lasting. A recent study found young children who consumed fluoridated water were still benefiting from this as adults in their 40s and 50s.
  • CWF is the most cost-effective health measure for preventing decay and the most effective way to reduce the gap in tooth decay rates between income groups.
  • At a time when more than 100 million Americans lack dental insurance, fluoridation offers an easy, inexpensive preventive strategy that everyone benefits from simply by turning on their tap.
  • CWF benefits children and adults regardless of income level or insurance status.
  • The cost savings on future dental care are significant: For every $1 spent on water fluoridation, $38 is saved in dental treatment costs.
  • The average cost of fluoridating a local water system is between 40 cents and $2.70 per person, per year.
  • About 74% of Americans connected to public water systems receive fluoridated water.