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70 Years of Water Fluoridation

Ann Arbor, MI — January 24, 2015 — On January 25, 1945, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first community in the world to control the level of fluoride in its water supply.  Before then, studies by Dr. Philip Jay, with the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and Dr. H. Trendley Dean, the first dental officer of the National Institutes of Health, conclusively linked fluoride in drinking water at 1.0 parts per million to the prevention of tooth decay.

In the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health, released May 25, 2000, Dr. David Satcher, wrote, “For more than half a century, community water fluoridation has been the cornerstone of caries prevention in the United States; indeed, CDC has recognized water fluoridation as one of the great public health achievements of the twentieth century.”  (p. 160).

The School of Dentistry’s alumni magazine, DentalUM, featured the 50-year anniversary of water fluoridation in its Winter 1995/96 issue.