Fluoridation of drinking water

The most up-to-date evidence confirms fluoride in the water system is safe and effective for people of all ages.

Page last updated: 18 May 2015

Water fluoridation has been endorsed through scientific research and review by leading organisations in Australia and internationally including the World Health Organization, Australian Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and the Australian Dental Association. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence does not link the fluoridation of community drinking water in Australia with short or long-term adverse health effects. The national health position on fluoridation of water is set out in the Healthy Mouths Healthy Lives: Australia’s National Oral Health Plan 2004-2013 found on the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health website.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) systematic review of fluoride and health, A Systematic Review of the Efficacy and Safety of Fluoridation (2007), states that fluoridation of drinking water remains the most effective measure for reducing dental caries. Poor oral health leads to physical and social suffering, and can leave individuals with large monetary costs for treatment.