Michigan communities federally recognized for their commitment to water fluoridation

LANSING, MI – Eight Michigan communities have been recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their contributions to oral health through community water fluoridation, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced today.Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

The City of Brighton, the City of Mason, and Plainfield Township have been recognized as part of the 2014 Community Water Fluoridation 50 Year Awards, which recognize communities that have maintained a community water fluoridation program for the last 50 years.

Boyne City, City of Bronson, Village of Cassopolis, City of East Jordan, and Traverse City received 2014 Community Water Fluoridation Reaffirmation Awards for reaffirming their commitment to maintaining a community water fluoridation program through a public vote, community council vote, or other commitment during the year.

“Water fluoridation is one of the most effective means we have for preventing and controlling tooth decay throughout a person’s life,” said Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive with the MDHHS. “In fact, our latest studies show that even in an environment where people have access to multiple sources of fluoride, such as fluoride toothpaste and professional dental treatments, fluoridation continues to prevent at least 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults.”

Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in the water to a level that is optimal for preventing tooth decay.  Community water fluoridation has been recognized by CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century.  CDC recommends water fluoridation as a safe, effective, and inexpensive method of preventing decay. In fact, every $1 invested in fluoridation saves at least $38 in costs for dental treatment.

The U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services has recommended that communities either adopt or maintain fluoridation of public drinking water supplies.  In 2012, more than 195 million people, or 74 percent of the United States population served by public water supplies, had access to drinking water with optimal fluoride levels for preventing decay.

Michigan consistently exceeds the CDC recommendations for community water supplies by having 90 percent of our population on community water systems accessing fluoridated water. These awards demonstrate the commitment to quality by these community water systems. Water fluoridation benefits all residents of a community and it has demonstrated its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay throughout one’s lifetime.