Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in soil, water, and many foods. All people ingest fluoride on a daily basis since it is present in most foods and water. Approximately 40% of Canadians have fluoride added to their community water supply. Fluoride is also available in toothpaste and rinses, and by dental professionals in the application of fluoride treatments and interventions.
Extensive research over 60 years has shown that fluoride reduces tooth decay. The Northwestern Health Unit along with over 90 national and international professional health organizations support the addition of fluoride to a public water supply as an effective way of reducing tooth decay. Fluoridated water is an excellent, safe, and cost-effective public health measure that benefits the whole community regardless of age, socioeconomic, education or employment status. Fluoridation reduces oral health disparities and improves the oral health of a community over a lifetime.
There are a number of communities in Northwestern Ontario that add fluoride to their water supply. The Northwestern Health Unit monitors the water supply of these communities on a monthly basis to ensure that water fluoridation levels fall within the optimal range.