Fluoride is a chemical compound added to U.S. tap water to prevent cavities and tooth decay to promote oral hygiene at the community level. The policy began in the 1940s as Grand Rapids, MI became the first city to implement a fluoridated water supply, with more cities following suit in the 1950s.
Today, community water fluoridation is commonplace. Drinking water supply in the United States demands that tap water contain a minimum level of fluoride, claiming the benefits of fluoride as a dental-decay preventative measure. However, this so-called “cavity-preventing” substance is now under scrutiny, with many in the medical community questioning the safety of fluoride in drinking water.