Calgary Community Water Fluoridation

This page provides information on community water fluoridation, the opportunity to ask an expert your questions and information about upcoming information sessions hosted by AHS experts. AHS is working with our partners to provide Calgarians the information they need to make an informed decision on October 18th, 2021.

Calgary Water Fluoride

On October 18th, Calgarians will have an opportunity to vote on community water fluoridation. While there is fluoride in all fresh water, community water fluoridation adjusts the fluoride level in the public water supply to the level recommended to prevent tooth decay.

We know there is a lot of information out there - we have created this page for you to ask questions, check myths, learn about upcoming information sessions, and have easy access to reliable resources.

On the right hand side you can see links to evidence-based information about community water fluoridation, posters, and details of upcoming information sessions.



This page provides information on community water fluoridation, the opportunity to ask an expert your questions and information about upcoming information sessions hosted by AHS experts. AHS is working with our partners to provide Calgarians the information they need to make an informed decision on October 18th, 2021.

Calgary Water Fluoride

On October 18th, Calgarians will have an opportunity to vote on community water fluoridation. While there is fluoride in all fresh water, community water fluoridation adjusts the fluoride level in the public water supply to the level recommended to prevent tooth decay.

We know there is a lot of information out there - we have created this page for you to ask questions, check myths, learn about upcoming information sessions, and have easy access to reliable resources.

On the right hand side you can see links to evidence-based information about community water fluoridation, posters, and details of upcoming information sessions.



Fact or fiction

We know there is a lot of information available about community water fluoridation and we want to help you get accurate and reliable information.

Share any questions, myths, or rumors you may have seen or heard and one of our medical experts will respond. 

All information provided is accurate as of the date of posting. If you need medical advice please call HealthLink at 811, or if this is an emergency please call 911.

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  • Is there any harm to water fluoridation in pregnancy?

    Laura M asked about 1 month ago

    No, it is safe to drink fluoridated water during pregnancy. 

    Two studies from Mexico where salt fluoridation is used as opposed to community water fluoridation (CWF), found an association between mothers’ maternal urine fluoride concentration with IQ scores and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in their children. In Canada, maternal urine fluoride concentration levels in CWF communities were similar to those seen in the Mexico studies and an association between mothers’ maternal urine fluoride concentration and IQ scores in their children were also reported. After carefully reviewing this new research, Alberta Health concluded that the studies provide weak evidence that is not generalizable and cannot infer causality. A subsequent rapid review of this new evidence by CADTH supports this conclusion. The overall weight of evidence on the relationship between CWF and cognition continues to support the safety of CWF;  Alberta Health will continue to monitor new evidence in this area.

    Dr. Rafael Figueiredo, Provincial Dental Public Health Officer, Alberta Health Services

  • I used to notice GI bloating and stomach upset after drinking water when it was fluorinated. Are there any studies or concerns linked specifically to this?

    AL asked 21 days ago

    Thank you for your question regarding studies or concerns related to GI discomfort.

    Both the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology, and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia have recently conducted systematic reviews on the safety of water fluoridation. Both addressed whether or not water fluoridation was responsible for gastric discomfort. Neither found a link between water fluoridation at the recommended optimal levels and gastric discomfort.

    In conclusion, there is no scientific evidence for an association between water fluoridation at the current Canadian levels and gastric discomfort.

    Access the reviews at

    Community Water Fluoridation Programs: A Health Technology Assessment — Review of Dental Caries and Other Health Outcomes (cadth.ca)

     Health Effects of Water Fluoridation - Evidence Evaluation Report (nhmrc.gov.au)


    Dr. Rafael Figueiredo, Provincial Dental Public Health Officer, Alberta Health Services

  • How can we make sure that this fluoride medication will NOT be added to Calgary's water?

    RM asked about 1 month ago

    Calgary residents will have an opportunity to vote on whether to restore fluoride to the city's drinking water during the municipal election on Monday, Oct. 18. 

    Dr. Rafael Figueiredo, Provincial Dental Public Health Officer, Alberta Health Services

  • I have heard that since fluoride was removed from Calgary water, the incidence of tooth decay has noticeably gone up, per local dentists. This has been seen especially among children. Could you provide more information about the erosion of Calgarians’ oral health since fluoride was removed? I think more publicly available proof of the lack of fluoride affecting Calgary’s children would be helpful to sway the unconvinced.

    Nicole asked about 1 month ago

    Calgary-Edmonton fluoride cessation comparison study by the University of Calgary published in 2017, found that fluoride cessation in Calgary has had a negative impact on children’s health. 

    In primary teeth, known more commonly as baby teeth, there was a worsening in tooth decay in Calgary since the discontinuation of fluoridation in 2011, compared to Edmonton, where water is still fluoridated. In fact, the number of tooth surfaces with decay per child increased by 3.8 surfaces in Calgary during the time frame of the study, compared to only 2.1 in Edmonton. This is a statistically significant difference. The average child has about 20 teeth with four or five surfaces per tooth.

    The study also found that the magnitude of increase in number of cavities was greater in Calgary than in Edmonton, and this was despite the fact there was indication of better access to dental treatment in Calgary.

    Dr. Rafael Figueiredo, Provincial Dental Public Health Officer, Alberta Health Services

  • What are the risks associated with fluoridation? Your website only highlights the benefits. I understand your pro fluoridation perspective and am of similar ilk. The population you ae trying to reach though have a fear of side effects and if you mention them and the low incidence you may sway them.

    Andrew asked about 1 month ago

    The most recent report from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) concluded there continues to be consistent evidence for the safety of community water fluoridation. The only recognized side effect of community water fluoridation is dental fluorosis. The Canadian Health Measure Survey 2007–2009, identified less than 0.3 per cent of children as having moderate to severe dental fluorosis in Canada. Mild dental fluorosis is barely noticeable to the untrained eye and does not affect the function of the teeth. 

    Intake from all sources of fluoride, including fluoride in drinking water, toothpaste and dietary fluoride supplements, increase the likelihood of dental fluorosis, which is a hypomineralization of the teeth that occurs during development. Dental fluorosis ranges from barely visible lacy white markings in mild cases to pitting of the teeth in the rare, severe form. There is a dose-response relationship between fluoride intake and fluorosis. The risk for and severity of dental fluorosis depends on the amount, timing, frequency, and duration of fluoride intake. Surveys in Australia and New Zealand have found no significant differences in dental fluorosis between areas with fluoridated and non-fluoridated drinking water.

    We encourage you to review Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services Position Statement on Community Water Fluoridation for more information. 

    Dr. Rafael Figueiredo, Provincial Dental Public Health Officer, Alberta Health Services