Water fluoridation

Dental fluoride policy in Japan

Sir, with regard to your recent content on toothpaste advertising,1there are two types of chemicals: controlled chemicals for our good health and reduced chemicals for our bad health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clearly stated that widespread use of fluoride has been a major factor in the decline in the prevalence and severity of dental caries in the United States and other economically developed countries.2 The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also asserted that the use of fluoride is a major breakthrough in public health.3 However, in Japan, fluoride in drinking water is regulated to be less than 0.8 mg/l which is not able to decrease tooth decay. According to the latest information,4 we have 104,533 dentists in Japan which is greater than the number of convenience stores. The lay public in Japan does not understand the importance of using fluoride in drinking water. Although the WHO, CDC, and developed countries recognise the relationship between the use of fluoride and tooth decay, unfortunately the Japanese government has been neglecting it. I believe the Japanese government needs to care for their own people by using fluoride and should change their dental fluoride policy as soon as possible.


  1. 1.

    Hellyer P. Toothpaste advertising. Br Dent J 2019; 226: 666.

  2. 2.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommendations for using fluoride to prevent and control dental caries in the United States. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm (accessed June 2019).

  3. 3.

    Petersen P E, Ogawa H. Editorial. Prevention of dental caries through the use of fluoride - the WHO approach. 2016. Available at: http://www.who.int/oral_health/publications/2016_prevention_dental_caries_through_use_fluoride.pdf (accessed June 2019).

  4. 4.

    [Japanese publication.] Available at: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/saikin/hw/ishi/16/dl/kekka_2.pdf (accessed June 2019).

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Correspondence to Y. Takefuji.

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Takefuji, Y. Dental fluoride policy in Japan. Br Dent J 227, 71 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-019-0566-2

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