San Benito County

Health & Human Services Agency

Hollister, California


Fluoride Information



  • Fluorine, from which fluoride is derived, is the 13th most abundant element and is released into the environment naturally in both water and air. 
  • Fluoride is naturally present in all water. Fluoride is found naturally in many foods, the soil, and the air we breathe.
  • Fluoride has been studied for over 75 years with good supporting evidence.
  • Fluoride’s main effects occur after the tooth has erupted above the gum line. This topical effect happens when small amounts of fluoride are maintained in the mouth in the saliva and dental plaque. It will reverse the tooth decay process and helps keep tooth enamel strong  and prevent root cavities in adults. It will also help remineralize teeth and has some antibacterial properties.
  • Fluoride is endorsed by the American Medical Association, American Dental Association a& the Center for Disease Control and prevention

Community Water Fluoridation

Only a few areas have naturally occurring fluoride that will benefit dental health. In other places it is added to the water. In San Benito County we do not add fluoride to the water supply nor does our well water have enough naturally occurring fluoride to benefit our teeth.

Community water fluoridation is effective , safe, and inexpensive way to prevent tooth decay. Fluoridation benefits Americans of all ages and socioeconomic status. Good scientific evidence supports the use of community water fluoridation and the use of fluoride dental products for preventing tooth decay for both children and adults.

Fluoridation of community water has been credited with reducing tooth decay by 50%-60% in the United States since World War II.

Fluoride in the water reduces tooth decay by 25% in children, and helps adults fight tooth decay when gums recede.

Check to see if you water is fluoridated

Fluoride Types

Fluoride is in toothpaste, mouth rinse,  varnishes and gels.

Some fluoride varnishes can be applied at the dentist office, others can  be applied at a community health care event. Varnish is safe and easy to apply. It has a many different flavors and water can be consumed right after application.

Who is a good candidate for fluoride?

Children who live in a rural area, history of decay before they reach the age of 2 years, children with special needs, children who often miss brushing and flossing, children who are not able to visit a dentist. Children who are not always eating balanced meals and snack. Children who do not have access to water fluoridation, lower economic levels and children in families with low literacy levels.

More Fluoride Information/Resources

Small solution, but big benefits! The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a recommendation that community water system adjust the amount of fluoride to 1.7 mg/L  to achieve an optimal fluoride level to  help prevent tooth decay. Before water fluoridation children had about 3 times as many cavities. For more information please check links below.

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If any  questions arise concerning the translated version of the website, please refer to the original English version.
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