The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has presented Water Fluoridation Quality Awards to 103 community water systems across Tennessee. Community water fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that is safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. In Rutherford County, both Murfreesboro and LaVergne received an award.
“Adjusting the amount of fluoride in water is the equivalent of food producers adding iodine to salt, folic acid to bread and vitamin D to milk,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “Generations of adults and children otherwise may not have had access to the important benefits from these silent health protections.”
Community water fluoridation has been recognized by the CDC as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century. Nearly 73.9 percent, or 204 million people in the U.S., are now served by community water systems with optimally fluoridated tap water. CDC research also shows people in communities with fluoridated water have about 25 percent fewer cavities over their lifetime.
The CDC awards recognize communities that achieved excellence in community water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent level of fluoridated water throughout 2012. Tennessee was one of 32 states to have community water systems earning the awards.
“Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water,” said Suzanne Hayes, DDS, director of the Tennessee Department of Health Oral Health Services. “By adjusting the amount of fluoride in its water supply system, a community can help residents of all ages prevent tooth decay and have improved oral health. Research shows every $1 invested in fluoridation saves at least $38 in costs for future dental treatment.”
TN Health Department
Contact: Woody McMillin
or Shelley Walker