• Fluoridation is the process of adding fluoride to the public water supply to improve dental health.

  • Fluoride is effective at preventing tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel, which is why it’s added to many brands of toothpaste.

  • The process of fluoridating water involves carefully controlling the level of fluoride added to the water. The recommended level varies globally, generally falling within the range 0.5 to 1.5 ppm (parts per million).

  • The benefits of fluoridation include reduced dental caries (tooth decay) particularly in children, and potential overall cost savings in a community’s dental health care.

  • However, there are also controversies and ethical questions around fluoridation. Some people argue it’s unethical to medicate a population without individual consent. There are also debates over potential negative health effects of consuming fluoridated water, though most peer-reviewed studies suggest these are minimal if the level of fluoride is properly controlled.

  • Water fluoridation is not practised in all countries. In the UK, about 10% of the population consumes fluoridated water, compared with about 66% in the U.S.

  • Remember that while fluoridation can improve dental health, it does not replace the need for a good oral hygiene regimen including brushing and flossing regularly.