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Water fluoridation is a safe, cheap, and effective means of primary prevention against dental caries in children and in adults. It is accessible to all people regardless of income, race, or geography, and does not rely on behavior change.

Evidence from other countries shows that water fluoridation reduces socioeconomic disparities in dental caries by conferring greater protection to children in low income/ education families than to children in more advantaged families. It is not known whether the effect of reducing disparities is generalizable to U.S. children. This study will capitalize on the variation in access to fluoridated drinking water across the U.S. to investigate the generalizability of these findings to U.S. cohorts.

Bert Grider—U.S. Census Bureau

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