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Public Water Fluoridation

Philadelphia’s water has fluoride added to it. It has been added by the Philadelphia Water Department in an effort to prevent tooth decay and cavities. They add the fluoride under the direction of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, in compliance with the Philadelphia Health Code, and have been adding it since 1951.

Research has shown, for decades, that fluoride added to public water supplies is safe for all ages, including babies, and is effective at maintaining the health of teeth. It’s even been shown to reverse cavities that have already formed.

Fluoridation is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association and the World Health Organization.

In 2012, the Philadelphia Water Department reduced the amount of fluoride that they put in our water (from 1 mg/L to 0.7 mg/L) to come in line with new recommendations from the US Public Health Service (USPHS).

This was not done because the amount of fluoride in our water was harming us, but because the USPHS realized that people today get more fluoride from other sources than they did in the 1950s. We get more fluoride today because of the toothpaste and mouthwashes that weren’t available at the time.

Fluoridation of our water supplies is, and continues to be, a successful way that we and the Philadelphia Water Department help keep our teeth safe and healthy.

For more information, see the following links: