We care about oral health and know that cavities are almost 100% preventable. To prevent cavities in an entire population, two measures have proven effective (even without a change in behavior):
- Community water fluoridation
- School dental sealant programs
Please consider the following:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2015: “The number of communities and people who benefit from water fluoridation is continuing to grow. This effective public health intervention was initiated in the United States in 1945. In 2012, 74.6% of the U.S. population [served by] public water systems, or a total of 210,655,401 people, had access to fluoridated water. The CDC monitors the progress of the nation and individual states toward meeting the Healthy People 2020 objective on community water fluoridation—that 79.6% of people on public water systems will receive water that has the optimum level of fluoride recommended for preventing tooth decay.”
Of the Oregonians on public water systems (3,688,540), only 22.6% (833,557) have access to fluoridated water.
Oregon: You think it can’t happen here….but it does. Children in the operating room (2012).
- Water fluoridation benefits people of all ages, regardless of socio-economic status.
- Every reputable scientific organization reports that water fluoridation is safe.
- The one-time cost to consumers for implementation is about $3 – $14 per person.
- The cost for onging fluoridation is about $0.50 – $3 per person per year (depending on the complexity of the system and the number of people sharing the cost).
- Water fluoridation is the most effective part of a community’s comprehensive dental program.