The following information was furnished to City of Sunnyvale by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
Fluoridation is a safe, effective, and economical way to improve dental health for the entire community.
Fluoride, one of the most plentiful elements on earth, occurs naturally in water supplies. When fluoride is present in drinking water at optimal levels, it has been shown to promote oral health by preventing tooth decay. Water fluoridation is the addition of small amounts of fluoride to a water supply to achieve a fluoride level that helps prevent tooth decay.
- All drinking water naturally contains some fluoride. Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the naturally-occurring fluoride level to the optimum level for preventing tooth decay.
- Adults, as well as children, benefit from drinking fluoridated water throughout their lives.
- More than half (62 percent) of the U.S. population lives in communities served by fluoridated water supplies.
- Community water fluoridation has the endorsement of every major health organization in the United States and many other countries, as well as every Surgeon General for the past 50 years.
- Every $1 spent on fluoridation saves $120 in dental treatment costs.
- Fluoridation will not change the taste, odor or appearance of your water.
Fluoridation Benefits People of All Ages
Drinking fluoridated water, as part of one’s diet, will provide about 60 percent of the protection necessary to fight against cavities. Fluoride works to strengthen tooth enamel so teeth become more resistant to decay, and it reverses newly formed cavities.
Optimal Fluoride Level
The San Francisco Public Utilities (SFPUC), a wholesale water provider to the City of Sunnyvale, will supplement naturally-occurring fluoride in the drinking water to meet the levels recommended by the California Department of Health Services (CDHS), 1.0 milligram of fluoride per liter of water (mg/L), or 1 part per million.
SFPUC has a CDHS-approved fluoridation control range of 0.8 – 1.5 mg/L, with an optimal fluoride level of 1.0 mg/L.
Extensive research conducted over the past 50 years has shown that fluoridation of public water supplies is a safe and effective way to reduce tooth decay for all community residents.
The overall value and safety of community water fluoridation is endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by the U.S. Surgeon General. Community water fluoridation is endorsed by numerous public health and professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Association of Public Health, U.S. Public Health Service, World Health Organization and the American Dental Association.
Dietary Fluoride Supplements
Health professionals advise that fluoride supplements, whether pills or drops, MUST be discontinued once water fluoridation begins. Drinking optimally-fluoridated water on a regular basis makes the use of fluoride supplements unnecessary.
Communities Already Receiving Fluoridated Water
The SFPUC provides drinking water to approximately 2.4 million people in San Francisco and portions of Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
San Francisco residents and customers on the northern Peninsula have been receiving optimally fluoridated water since the early 1950s to promote dental health.
About 80 percent of the people in the SFPUC service area currently receive fluoridated water, either directly from the SFPUC or from one of several water districts or utilities that fluoridate independently. These include City of Hayward, Alameda County Water District, City of Mountain View, City of Palo Alto and Stanford University.
Due to a limited availability of fluoride supplies around the country, fluoridated water is now being projected to occur late fall 2005, at which time approximately 400,000 additional people will benefit from optimally-fluoridated water.