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2017 Water Fluoridation Health Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

The purpose of this health indicator report is to provide information about public support among Halton adults for adding fluoride to drinking water when the natural amount is too low to help prevent tooth decay.

Background

Fluoride is naturally occurring and is found in varying levels in water sources throughout Halton Region and Ontario. Water fluoridation is the process whereby the natural level of fluoride in a water supply is adjusted to a level that will optimize dental benefits.

The recommended level of fluoride in drinking water to prevent tooth decay is between 0.5-0.8 parts per million (ppm). 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.

This health indicator report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS).

Key Findings

  • 64% of Halton adults reported that they would support adding fluoride to drinking water when natural levels are too low to help prevent tooth decay, 21% opposed and 15% did not know.
  • 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 18-24 to adults aged 65+.

Overall Findings

  • In 2017, 64% of Halton adults reported that they would support adding fluoride to drinking water when natural levels are too low to help prevent tooth decay, 21% opposed and 15% did not know.

Sex

  • In 2017, there was no statistically significant difference 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 2017, 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. These differences were statistically significant when comparing adults aged 18-24 to adults aged 65+.

Municipality

  • In 2017, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality 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.

Income

  • In 2017, there were no statistically significant differences by income 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.

Education

  • In 2017, there was no statistically significant difference 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.