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FDA approves dental health claim for fluoridated bottled water

The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition announced Oct. 14 that manufacturers now have permission to print claims on their labels that drinking fluoridated water may reduce the risk of tooth decay.

"Whether you drink fluoridated water from the tap or buy it in a bottle, you're doing the right thing for your oral health," said Dr. James B. Bramson, executive director of the American Dental Association (ADA), in a statement. "Thanks to the FDA's decision, bottlers can now claim what dentists have long known — that optimally fluoridated water helps prevent tooth decay."

The FDA cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and "Oral Health in America : A Report of the Surgeon General" from 2000 among sources for this recommendation. Additionally, the FDA points out that the health claim is not intended for use on bottled water marketed to infants for whom lesser amounts of fluoride are appropriate.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound that can help prevent tooth decay. While the ADA applauded the FDA's recent decision, the association "continues to endorse fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay." According to the ADA, there are currently about 170 million people in the United States that are served by public water systems that are fluoridated.

For more information on fluoride and its benefits for dental health, visit the ADA Web site at "www.ada.org/goto/fluoride". Additional information on bottled water is also available by logging on to "www.ada.org/goto/bottledwater".

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

10/30/06

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