Facts About Fluoride

What is Flouride?

The mineral fluoride occurs naturally on earth and is released from rocks into the soil, water, and air. All water contains some fluoride. Usually, the fluoride level in water is not enough to prevent tooth decay; however, some groundwater and natural springs can have naturally high levels of fluoride.

Why Add Fluoride To Drinking Water?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fluoride has been proven to protect teeth from decay. Bacteria in the mouth produce acid when a person eats sugary foods. This acid eats away minerals from the tooth’s surface, making the tooth weaker and increasing the chance of developing cavities. Fluoride helps to rebuild and strengthen the tooth’s surface, or enamel. Water fluoridation prevents tooth decay by providing frequent and consistent contact with low levels of fluoride. By keeping the tooth strong and solid, fluoride stops cavities from forming and can even rebuild the tooth’s surface.

Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the amount of fluoride in drinking water to a level recommended for preventing tooth decay.

Since 1945, hundreds of cities have started community water fluoridation and in 2018, community water systems that contain enough fluoride to protect teeth served more than 200 million people or 73% of the US population.  Because it is so beneficial, the United States has a national goal for 77% of Americans to have water with enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay by 2030. Because of its contribution to the dramatic decline in tooth decay over the past 75 years, the CDC named community water fluoridation as 1 of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

Although other fluoride-containing products, such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and dietary supplements are available and contribute to the prevention and control of tooth decay, community water fluoridation has been identified as the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all, reducing tooth decay by 25% in children and adults.

According to health authorities, fluoridation offers health benefits to the entire community, especially vulnerable populations without access to regular dental care. 

If you have questions or want more information on the health benefits of fluoride, please visit the Florida Department of Health's Community Water Fluoridation webpage.

Amount of Fluoride in Wellington Tap Water

Wellington's Council voted unanimously to reintroduce fluoride into the Village’s drinking water supply in June 2016, after hearing from residents and experts. 

Wellington's surficial water supply has naturally occurring fluoride levels of approximately 0.13 to 0.25 mg/L. In Wellington, hydrofluosilicic acid (fluoride) is added to the treated water to increase the concentration to 0.7-1.3 mg/L.  The Village of Wellington’s average fluoride concentration from January 2020 to May 2020 was 0.80 mg/L. The United States Public Health Services recommends an optimum target dose of 0.7 mg/L.

The maximum amount of fluoride allowed in public water systems as set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 4.0 mg/L (ppm). The EPA also has a non-enforceable secondary standard for fluoride of 2.0 mg/L which is recommended to protect children against tooth discoloration and/or pitting that can be caused by excess fluoride exposures during formative years. Although water systems are not required to comply with the secondary standard, they are required to notify customers if the average exceeds 2.0 mg/L.