Fluoride is a natural element found in rocks and soil and both fresh and ocean waters. In some areas fluoride occurs naturally in the water supply, but in most areas fluoride needs to be added and regulated to ensure a level that is most beneficial. For more information on your water supply, visit My Water's Fluoride . This site provides information on whether or not you receive fluoridated water, and is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information is available for each zip code and municipal water system.

Community leaders have come to realize that fluoridation benefits their entire community—children, adults, and age groups 65 and up. Community water fluoridation does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of income, education, or race. Simply by drinking fluoridated water, everyone in a community benefits. Even today, with other available sources of fluoride, studies show that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by about 25 percent over a person's lifetime.

A person's income and ability to get routine dental care are not barriers since all residents of a community can enjoy fluoride's protective benefits just by drinking tap water and consuming foods and beverages prepared with it.

Approximately 170 million people in the United States — about two-thirds of people who use public water systems — benefit from fluoridation.

  • Fluoridation is safe.
  • Fluoridation of community water supplies benefits everyone.
  • Fluoridation is cost-effective because it saves money on dental treatment needs.*

*Text adapted from " Nature's Way to Prevent Tooth Decay " pamphlet (American Dental Association) and the CDC Community Water Fluoridation

Learn More About Water Fluoridation

Information for Community Water Operators

  • CDC Water Fluoridation Training Course
    A free resource designed to build the capability of state fluoridation programs, and to help increase knowledge and refine skills to implement and maintain community water fluoridation.
  • South Carolina Rural Water Association
    The South Carolina Rural Water Association was established in 1976.  we are a non-profit trade association that assists public and private water/wastewater systems state-wide to ensure that the residents of South Carolina have access to clean water. We help deliver Quality on Tap!

Another Source of Fluoride: Fluoride Varnish

  • Fluoride Varnish for Parents (pdf)
    Why should your child get fluoride varnish on his teeth? This dual language flyer explains the importance of fluoride varnishes to preventing tooth decay.
  • Fluoride Varnish Training
    This training is for medical providers and staff. It includes information about preventive oral health strategies and messages. A short assessment is included as well as a training completion certificate. Once the training is complete providers are certified to bill for fluoride varnish applications.