Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies: A Beneficial Police Action or an Interference with Liberty.
The fluoridation of public water for the express purpose of preventing tooth decay, more formally called dental caries, has been the subject of numerous state lawsuits, yet up to this point none of them have been upheld. The theory behind this practice, which now affects about 130 million people in the United States, is that the ingestion of fluoride will harden the surfaces of the teeth and make them less susceptible to tooth decay.
Health and Safety Code § 116410 requires fluoridation of public water systems having at least 10,000 service connections and authorizes the California State Department of Health Services to adopt regulations to implement that requirement subject to funding. 
The United States Supreme Court has never granted certiorari to a fluoridation challenge and therefore has never decided whether a state, within the scope its police power, can mandate inorganic fluoridation of the public water supply. Police power is the implied constitutional authority allowing states to make laws concerning the health, safety, welfare and morals of its citizens.  One example of police power is student inoculations required to prevent contagious diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella. These inoculations are hardly questioned as to whether they fall within the state’s police power because the danger of spreading contagious diseases amongst children is widely recognized. However, fluoridation of the public water supply broadens the scope of state police power and government involvement to include laws regarding the welfare of citizens even when the disease is not contagious and the general public can is remedy the situation using less invasive measures.
Legal Basis for Fluoridation
The assurance of safe drinking water has been a basic human right in the United States since the Commonwealth v. Towanda Water-Works case in...