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Indiana State Department of Health

Environmental Public Health Home > Water Fluoridation Program Water Fluoridation Program

Program Overview

Welcome to the home page for the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Fluoridation Program. Fluoridation Program staff provide surveillance, training and technical assistance to schools and owners and operators who fluoridate their public water supplies.  The U.S. Surgeon General has stated that water fluoridation "is the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health over a lifetime, for both children and adults."  The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider water fluoridation to be one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.  According to CDC, water fluoridation "safely and inexpensively benefits both children and adults by effectively preventing tooth decay, regardless of socioeconomic status or access to care."  Fluoride stops, and can even reverse, the decay process in teeth.  Water fluoridation reduces tooth decay in children by 40-70%, and it reduces tooth loss in adults by 40-60%.  Fluoride is just as important to elderly Americans; it prevents or impedes decay of teeth having exposed root surfaces.  CDC data shows that for every dollar spent on water fluoridation, $38 are saved in reduced costs for dental care.  Most Indiana surface water and groundwater has a natural fluoride concentration of 0.1-0.2 milligrams per liter (mg/l), but the optimal concentration for fluoride to be effective in reducing tooth decay is 1.0 mg/l.  While 90 Indiana public water supplies produce drinking water that is naturally fluoridated at the optimal level, almost 300 Indiana public water supplies and 20 rural schools must add fluoride to their drinking water to achieve the optimal level for reduction of tooth decay.   Today, over 4.3 million Hoosiers receive optimally fluoridated drinking water.

Consumer Information

A number of researchers and health officials have publicly spoken about the scientific evidence supporting fluoridation.

Learn whether or not your Hoosier public water supply fluoridates at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database.  Follow the county link to see the status of any public water supply in that particular county. 

Legislative Database on Community Water Fluoridation. The Fluoride Legislative User Information Database (“FLUID”), which can be accessed at http://www.fluidlaw.org/, is a comprehensive online compilation of court decisions, laws, and policies related to community water fluoridation and contains information from all 50 states and U.S. territories. It was designed to be an easy-to-use tool that states and municipalities can use to research and compare their current or proposed policies with others across the country and make informed decisions based on legal information.

Directories

Drinking water chemistry laboratories (Indiana-certified)

Forms

Order Form for Drinking Water Sample Bottle    
Anyone can submit a drinking water sample for sodium, fluoride, nitrate, or bacteriological analysis by the ISDH Laboratory.  The ISDH laboratory will provide a sterilized sample bottle with shipping form and container, upon payment of the necessary fee. 

Laws and Regulations

IC 16-19-3-20 Dental public health

Links

American Dental Association on fluorides and fluoridation

American Water Works Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on fluorides and fluoridation;

I Like My Teeth

National Center for Fluoridation

Program Information and Policies

Fluoride and Water Fluoridation Information

Questions and Answers about Fluoridation

Safe Chemical Contaminant Levels for Drinking Water.
Information from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management on maximum chemical contaminant levels for safe drinking water.