Fourteen Wisconsin communities recognized for public fluoridation efforts

WEST ALLIS, WIS., Nov. 8, 2013 – Fourteen Wisconsin communities have been recognized by the American Dental Association, Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for helping prevent tooth decay among residents through 50 years of public water fluoridation.

Commended for their ongoing community water fluoridation efforts are Benton, Blanchardville, Cassville, Clinton, Dickeyville, Fall River, Kewaskum, Lake Mills, Merrill, Mondovi, Morrisonville, Potosi, River Falls and Sturgeon Bay.

These annual awards were presented at the National Oral Health Conference.

Adding or maintaining optimal levels of fluoride in drinking water has been a safe, effective and economical public health practice for more than 68 years. The CDC has proclaimed community water fluoridation one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century, along with greater use of vaccines and recognition of tobacco as a health hazard.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound in the environment. Peer-reviewed, credible, scientific evidence shows fluoridation to be safe, effective and economical.

Verifiable science confirms community water fluoridation prevents at least 25 percent (conservative estimate) of tooth decay in children and adults throughout a lifetime and at all socioeconomic levels.

Fluoride is also economical – a lifetime of fluoridated water costs about the same as one dental filling. Studies show every dollar invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.

 “Water fluoridation is proven safe and benefits the oral health of all residents, regardless of their income or age. These communities are to be commended for their commitment to oral health,” says Wisconsin Dental Association President Dr. Timothy Durtsche, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who resides and practices in La Crosse, Wis.

Wisconsin is a national leader in fluoridation with 80 – 89 percent of state residents on community water systems having access to optimally fluoridated water, according to the “Burden of Oral Disease in Wisconsin – 2010” report from the Department of Health Services.