Natural Protection Against Tooth Decay logoFluoridation Facts header imageCDC Fluoridation logo
Advanced Countries Shun Fluoridation: THE TRUTH

According to the American Dental Association - Fluoridation Facts, 1996:

There are a number of countries that do not have fluoridation. However, failure to fluoridate should not be misconstrued as concern over safety or effectiveness. Inaction is not synonymous with banning; some countries have simply failed to act. Also in many parts of the world, fluoridation is not feasible for several reasons; the lack of a central water supply, the presence of more urgent health needs and the lack of sufficient funds for start-up and maintenance costs.

The status of fluoridation of several countries cited as "shunning" fluoridation is summarized below:

Austria has never implemented fluoridation. Austrian Medical and Dental Association, and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Health and the Environment are in favor of water fluoridation and support the World Health Organization recommendation.

Parts of the country have some fluoride naturally in their water supplies. Although legislation allows fluoridation, there are no plans for it at present.

The National Health Board of Denmark is convinced that fluoridation is a good health measure. No decision regarding fluoridation has been made yet.

Government is strongly in favor. One community in Finland serving 70,000 people in fluoridated. Two other communities approved fluoridation in 1974.

Fluoridation of salt is used in France.

The reunification of Germany in 1990 has resulted in a complete change of medical and dental care. Water fluoridation in 35 towns, reaching 18% of the citizens, was stopped in 1990. Prior to this date there were technical problems of the fluoridation process that caused ineffective fluoride levels from 1964-1985. This has been stated as the most important reason for the lack of decline of dental decay in East Germany.

The stopping of fluoridation was not a result of banning but a change in political, economic and social structures. For example, Germany currently benefits from fluoridated salt and fluoride supplement programs.

In 1988 a preventative program (topical fluoride applications, brushing and diet counseling) was introduced. These preventative programs, which include the use of systemic and topical fluorides, have promoted the reduction of tooth decay after water fluoridation was stopped in 1990.

This country has opted to supplement with drops and pills using the extensive, government-run health system to distribute fluoride.

Currently less than 1% of Japan has community water fluoridation. Dental disease in Japan is very severe compared to the United States.

The Directorate of Health in Norway recommends water fluoridation. ". . .No political decision has been made to abandon fluoridation in Norway, and the Norwegian Dental Association supports fluoridation as a safe, effective and efficient public health measure."

The resolution to repeal the Fluoridation Act is not based on any proposals presented by the Swedish Government or the National Board of Health and Welfare but is entirely based on bills introduced by private members of the parliament. Nor do the bills rest on petition or statements made by odontological (dental) or medical institutions or organizations. The Swedish Royal Commission has been reconsidering the whole question.

The statement about Switzerland having officially banned fluoridation is incorrect. The local government has the authority to order fluoridation. Currently Basel is fluoridating at 1.0 ppm.

Many fluoridation systems that used to operate in Eastern and Central Europe did not function properly and, when the Iron Curtain fell in 1989-90, shut down because of obsolete technical equipment and lack of knowledge as to the benefits of fluoridated water.



Credits for this Fluoridation site: Office of External Affairs, Dental School

For suggestions, comments, and concerns about this page,
e-mail us at:

Sources of information
American Dental Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Association of Public Health Dentistry

Date Created September 22, 2000 |Last Modification Date:  September 22 , 2000

© 2000 UTHSCSA Dental School. Terms of Use.