Fluoridated water is safe, effective

Since 1945, communities in the United States have added small amounts of fluoride to their drinking water to prevent cavities and make teeth stronger. Today, over 200 million people in the U.S. drink water that contains enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called water fluoridation one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.

Scientists in the U.S. and other countries have studied the safety and benefits of fluoridated water for decades, and found no convincing evidence that water fluoridation causes any unwanted health effects other than dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis occurs in a small minority of people who ingest fluoride. It leads to white spots on the tooth surface that in 90 percent of cases is mild and not noticeable. It does not affect the strength of the tooth enamel; it makes the tooth less susceptible to decay.

As public health professionals who have lived and worked in communities with and without fluoridated water, we can attest to the benefits of fluoridation on the oral health of communities. We urge residents of Wilmington to ask their dentists, their pediatricians, and their family physicians about water fluoridation. We urge you to ask city council to follow the current law and add fluoride to our community water supply.

For further information, go to www.cdc.gov, www.odh.ohio.gov (Ohio Department of Health) or www.ada.org (American Dental Association).

Pamela Walker-Bauer, MPH, RS

Health Commissioner,

Clinton County Health Department

Terry Kerr Holten, M.D.

Medical Director,

Clinton County Health Department