On November 19, 2007 the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) started adding fluoride to the water that it serves to Newport Beach. In line with recommendations from the California Department of Public Health, as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MWD adjusted the natural fluoride level in the water, which ranges from 0.1 to 0.4 parts per million, to 0.7 to 0.8 parts per million. Currently the City of Newport Beach receives approximately 31% of its water from MWD and 69% from its ground water well sources. The City of Newport Beach will not be adding fluoride to its well sources. The City of Newport Beach’s ground water well sources contain a natural occurrence of fluoride. This level ranges from 0.2 to 0.4 parts per million, with an average of 0.3 parts per million. The City of Newport Beach is currently blending its water sources in the distribution system, so fluoride levels will vary depending on service area. Residents will see fluoride levels ranging between 0.2 and 0.8 parts per million. Also beginning this November, the City of Newport Beach will begin a fluoride monitoring program to monitor the levels of fluoride throughout the distribution system.
- The fluoride ion comes from the element fluorine. It is an abundant element in the earth’s crust in the form of the fluoride ion. As a gas, it never occurs in its free state in nature, but exists only in combination with other elements as a fluoride compound. Fluoride compounds are components of minerals in rocks and soil. Water passes over rock formations and dissolves the fluoride compounds that are present, releasing fluorine ions. The result is that small amounts of fluoride are present in all water sources.
- Fluoride's benefits for teeth were discovered in the 1930s by scientists who saw extremely low tooth decay rates among people whose water supplies had a significant amount of natural fluoride.
- Fluoride helps teeth resist decay by strengthening the protective layer of tooth enamel, and can reverse newly formed cavities.
- Fluoride has been added to U.S. drinking water supplies since 1945.
- The three primary agents used to fluoridate water are sodium fluoride (made of sodium and fluoride atoms bonded together), sodium fluorosilicate (sodium, silicon and fluoride) and fluorosilicic acid (hydrogen, silicon and fluoride). Metropolitan will use fluorosilicic acid because of the safety and reliability this treatment chemical offers.
- More than two-thirds of the population in the U.S. are served by public water systems that are optimally fluoridated.
Fluoridated Water and Supplements
Drinking optimally fluoridated water on a regular basis makes the use of fluoride tablets or drops unnecessary. However, the continued use of fluoride treatments by professional dental caregivers is recommended. Drinking fluoridated water should be part of a total treatment plan for healthy gums and teeth, combined with brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and using less sugar in your diet. Customers who do not wish to drink fluoridated water should know that most bottled waters do contain levels of fluoride below the optimum range. Home water treatment units that use reverse osmosis membrane filtration will effectively remove fluoride. However, activated carbon filters will not remove fluoride. As always, customers should check for state certification for fluoride removal on any home water treatment unit being considered.
More Information and Links
For a list of state-certified water treatment devices from the CA Department of Public Health
For questions and information on fluoridation please call (213) 217-6850, Option 2 or visit the Metropolitan Water District
For additional fluoride information contact or visit the American Dental Association