Fluoride is a trace mineral found in varying concentrations in foods, soil and water. Foods high in fluoride include fish, tea, and many vegetables. Many non-prescription dental care products contain fluoride as well, including toothpastes and mouthwashes. Fluoride is also found naturally in water.
The levels of fluoride in water vary across the state and will depend on a few factors. This may include the type of rocks and soils in the catchment. Water that spends longer times in these areas will be higher in fluoride.
Water fluoridation adjusts the level of natural fluoride in water. We add controlled amounts of fluoride to the water in some of our drinking water systems.
This is done on behalf of SA Health. It provides a significant public health benefit.
Health and dental organisations worldwide have endorsed the benefits of fluoridating water supplies. In 1945, researchers discovered that moderate fluoridation prevents tooth decay. Approximately 400 million people worldwide now receive fluoridated water.
Fluoride does not affect the appearance, taste or odour of drinking water. Any addition of fluoride is carefully controlled at our water treatment facilities. This ensures we meet the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines level of 1.5 mg/L.
Further information on fluoride treatment can be found on the SA Health website. Further information on water fluoridation and human health can be found on the National Health and Medical Research Council website.