Municipal water fluoridation began in 1945, and in the past 70 years, it appears to have decreased the rate of dental caries nationwide. Despite being deemed one of the top ten innovations of the 20th century, there continues to be misconceptions with this controversial practice. The intent of this thesis is to address some of the misconceptions with water fluoridation, and what possible solutions could be provided to alleviate the concerns. This was accomplished through a literature review of current research articles. Two main topics were explored: the public health and oral health concerns and how they contribute to the controversy. Results from the literature show that there was an increasing campaign from anti-fluoridators that use misleading information to advocate for ceasing water fluoridation. There was also a common concern about fluoridated water causing dental fluorosis. Furthermore, there was a trend with the lack of education and knowledge about water fluoridation, predominately in rural and low-income communities. Overall, it was reasoned that the best way to reduce the misconceptions of water fluoridation is to increase educational opportunities through medical professionals creating inter-department relationships and redirecting various government programs to target different populations.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Medicine
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Hawkins, Thomas A., "An Exploration of Public Misconceptions of Municipal Water Fluoridation Relating to Oral and Public Health" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 504.