ADA applauds HHS

Jan. 7, 2011
ADA commends federal agencies responsible for public health and safety for recalibrating the ratio of fluoride to water that agencies consider optimal.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--The American Dental Association has commended the federal agencies responsible for public health and safety for recalibrating the ratio of fluoride to water that they consider optimal, based on scientific evaluation and the appreciation of fluoride received from sources.

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As a science-based organization, the ADA supports the Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendation to set the level for optimally fluoridated water at 0.7 parts per million. This adjustment will provide an effective level of fluoride to reduce the incidence of tooth decay while minimizing the rate of fluorosis in the general population.

“This is a superb example of a government agency fulfilling its mission to protect and enhance the health of the American people,” said ADA President Dr. Raymond F. Gist, DDS. “We have always looked to the federal health agencies to guide us on this and other public health matters, and we will continue to do so. We applaud the Department of Health and Human Services for reaffirming the safety and efficacy of optimal community water fluoridation, with science on their side.”

The ADA will continue working with federal and state governments and other stakeholders to educate people about the health benefits of optimally fluoridated drinking water. The association strongly urges communities that already are doing so to continue fluoridating water at the levels the government recommends as safe and optimal.

Communities among the minority that still do not already optimally fluoridate their municipal water systems now should act on the government’s reaffirmation and, more than ever, do so. People who live in nonfluoridated communities should talk to their dentists about other ways to enjoy the health benefits of fluoride, such as supplements or topical applications.

“Dentistry has succeeded in preventing disease better than any other area of health care,” said Dr. Gist. “Water fluoridation is one of our most potent weapons in disease prevention, and we want as many people as possible to have the benefits of this simple, safe, inexpensive, and proven health-care measure.

“The ADA has long advocated for all Americans to have the best possible oral health. The recommended level has been set at the lower optimal limit, but the health benefits of fluoridation remain. The only real, known health risk is the dramatic increased levels of disease that are likely to afflict people without access to optimally fluoridated water,” Dr. Gist added.

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