Objectives: We sought to estimate the association between community water fluoridation (CWF) exposure at various stages of life and adult tooth loss.
Methods: We used data from the 1995 through 1999 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, merged with data from the 1992 Water Fluoridation Census, to estimate interval regression models that relate CWF exposure with tooth loss.
Results: Our results indicate that CWF levels in the county of residence at the time of the respondent's birth are significantly related to tooth loss but current CWF levels are not. In addition, the impact of CWF exposure is larger for individuals of lower socioeconomic status.
Conclusions: This study suggests that the benefits of CWF may be larger than previously believed and that CWF has a lasting improvement in racial/ethnic and economic disparities in oral health.