2015 Water Fluoridation Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information about public support for adding fluoride to drinking water in Halton Region when the natural amount is too low to prevent tooth decay.

Background

Fluoride is naturally occurring and is found in varying levels in water sources throughout Halton Region and Ontario. The recommended level of fluoride in drinking water to prevent tooth decay is between 0.5-0.8 parts per million (ppm).1 Fluoride is added to the municipal water supply in Burlington, Oakville, Halton Hills and new developments in Milton to bring it up to optimal levels.1

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS).

Key Findings

Overall Findings and Trends Over Time

  • In 2014/15, 63% of Halton adults reported that they would support adding fluoride to drinking water when natural levels are too low to help prevent tooth decay, 23% opposed and 14% did not know. There were no statistically significant changes in support for adding fluoride to drinking water from 2009 to 2014/15.

Sex

  • In 2014/15, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they would support adding fluoride to drinking water when natural levels are too low to help prevent tooth decay.

Age

  • In 2014/15, the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they would support adding fluoride to drinking water when natural levels are too low to help prevent tooth decay increased as age increased. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 65+ to adults aged 18-24 and 25-44.

Municipality

  • In 2014/15, Milton adults were less likely than adults in Burlington, Oakville and Halton Hills to report that they would support adding fluoride to drinking water when natural levels are too low to help prevent tooth decay, however, these differences were not statistically significant.

Income

  • In 2015, Halton adults in the high income group were more likely than adults in the middle and low income groups to report that they would support adding fluoride to drinking water when natural levels are too low to help prevent tooth decay. These differences were statistically significant.

Education

  • In 2014/15, there were no statistically significant differences by education in the percentage of Halton adults who reported that they would support adding fluoride to drinking water when natural levels are too low to help prevent tooth decay.

References

  1. Fluoride in Drinking Water-Frequently Asked Questions