Some of the strongest evidence yet for public water fluoridation has just been released the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Adelaide, Australia. The study strongly reaffirms the dental health benefits to adults, even if they did not receive fluoridated drinking water during their childhood.
Fluoride drinking water prevents tooth decay for all adults regardless of age and whether or not they consumed fluoridated water during childhood, according to the first population-level study of its kind.
The researchers examined randomly selected Australian population survey data from 3,779 adults aged 15 and older between 2004 and 2006. They measured levels of decay and study participants reported where they lived since 1964. The residential history of the study participants was matched to the information about fluoride levels in the community water supplies. Then the researchers were able to surmise the percentage of each participant’s lifetime drinking public fluoridated water.
The research showed that adults who spent more than 75 percent of their life living in fluoridated communities had significantly less tooth decay (nearly 30 percent less) when compared to adults who had live less than 25 percent of their lifetime in fluoridated communities.