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Prepared for World Water Day. Written by Dr. Rosalind Stanwell Smith. Reviewed by staff and experts from the Oral Health Programme (ORH) and the Water, Health and Sanitation Unit (WSH), World Health Organization (WHO)
May 2002
© 2001–2003, 2002 WHO

World Water Day 2001: Oral health


  Table of contents
  • Good oral health depends on a safe water supply
  • Tooth decay (dental caries) is a worldwide problem
  • Water related malnutrition is an important factor in poor oral health
  • Fluoridation of water supplies significantly improves dental health in regions with low natural fluoride in the water
  • Naturally high levels of fluoride may cause fluorosis and in some regions defluoridation programmes or alternative water supplies are required

“Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond”
Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) in Don Quixote.

Healthy teeth are essential to general health. This theme article examines the problem of dental decay and the role water plays in maintaining dental health, including fluoride levels, diet and hygiene.

World Water Day 2001: Oral health: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 | Next page

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