In the six decades since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiated the addition of fluoride to the public water supply, the reduction in cavities in the U.S. has far outweighed critique of the program. However, despite reasonable assumptions, many Americans are still not getting fluoridated water.
Almost 30% of Americans, roughly 80 million people, live in areas that haven’t embraced this benefit. Cities like San Diego, Honolulu, Wichita and Portland face a greater risk of tooth decay without this public service.
But it’s not just community unavailability that keeps fluoridated water from the mouths of the masses. The huge increase in consumption of bottled water, which does not contain fluoride, leaves teeth more vulnerable and explains the recent upswing in childhood cavities.
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