AGD Continues to Support Water Fluoridation

  • by AGD Staff
  • Jun 13, 2024

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) continues to support community water fluoridation, upholding its position that fluoride is safe and effective in preventing and controlling dental caries when used appropriately. Despite a recently published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that claims to show an association between a mother’s prenatal fluoride exposure and a child’s later neurobehavioral problems, AGD reaffirms its position that regular use of fluoride throughout life will help protect teeth against decay. All water supplies, including bottled water, should have appropriate fluoride levels. Fluoridated items, including toothpaste, should be used as recommended by your dentist.    

AGD encourages and regularly advocates that state and local governments provide effective levels of fluoride in public water systems to reduce the prevalence of dental caries in their population. Tooth decay affects more children in the United States than any other chronic infectious disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC states that, if left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain and infections that hinder eating, speaking, playing and learning. The problem is pervasive, with 92% of adults ages 20 to 64 having had dental caries in their permanent teeth.1 This number has been found to increase when fluoride is removed from community water supplies.

A study published last year that included more than 10 times as many participants as the JAMA Network Open study found no association between maternal fluoride exposure and negative executive functioning and emotional and behavioral development. Studies from other countries have also shown no association between fluoride exposure and cognitive development issues.  A study from Spain showed a positive correlation between maternal fluoride and intellectual development for boys.

If you have any questions regarding this topic, please contact AGD's news team, and read more here about AGD's water fluoridation policy.


1. “Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) in Adults (Age 20 to 64). National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Last reviewed July 2018, accessed 21 August 2019.