Niagara's Tap Water
Fluoride is not added to Niagara's tap water. Residents should brush their teeth twice daily for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in:
- Most foods
You can also get fluoride through toothpaste, mouthwash or fluoride treatments by dental professionals.
Fluoride prevents cavities (tooth decay)
Fluoride works by making the tooth enamel (outside of the tooth) stronger and protects your teeth from childhood through to senior years.
- Cavities can lead to pain, infection and tooth loss over time
- Water fluoridation provides additional protection to fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is not added to Niagara's tap water
Niagara Region does not add fluoride to the tap water. However, fluoride naturally occurs in soil and water. Under Ontario Regulation 170/03, both the Niagara region and surrounding municipalities have the responsibility to provide water quality reports.
The 2018 annual water quality reports for the Niagara region show naturally-occurring fluoride levels from a minimum of 0.048 mg/L (Niagara Falls plant that serves Niagara Falls and parts of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Port Robinson) to a maximum of 0.062 mg/L (Grimsby plant that serves Grimsby, West Lincoln and a portion of Lincoln).
The levels of fluoride in Niagara's tap water are too low to prevent cavities so it is even more important that residents brush their teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, get regular dental care and check if topical fluoride varnish is recommended for them to prevent cavities.
Too much fluoride from any source, including toothpaste, can cause dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is not harmful to health. It is a cosmetic condition that appears as white chalky spots on the tooth surface. It is important to use the appropriate amount of toothpaste for a person's age. Dental fluorosis is very uncommon in Niagara. Your dentist can provide more information on how much toothpaste is right for you.
Community water fluoridation
Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the level of fluoride in a public drinking (tap) water supply to optimize the dental benefits of preventing tooth decay. Community water fluoridation is recognized as the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.
In Ontario, 70 per cent of the population have access to fluoridated tap water. More than 90 global health experts and scientific evidence support community fluoridation to prevent tooth decay, including: