Wisconsin Dental Association: Three Wisconsin communities recognized for public fluoridation efforts

CONTACT: Carol S. Weber, APR, Director of Public Relations

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WEST ALLIS, WIS., July 19, 2011 – Three Wisconsin cities were recognized at this year’s National Oral Health Conference for helping prevent tooth decay among residents through local water fluoridation.

Commended for 50 years of continuous public water fluoridation were New Richmond and Whitewater. Amery received a Community Water Fluoridation Reaffirmation Award.

The annual awards are sponsored by the American Dental Association, Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Adding or maintaining optimal levels of fluoride in drinking water is a safe and effective public health practice because fluoride, a naturally-occurring compound in the environment, reduces and prevents tooth decay.

The CDC identifies water fluoridation as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. It is particularly important for children and adults who lack adequate access to dental care.

It is estimated that every one dollar invested in community water fluoridation saves approximately $38 in dental treatment costs.

“Water fluoridation is safe, effective and economical. It benefits the oral health of all residents, regardless of their income or age. It is one of the best investments for the nation’s public health dollar,” says Wisconsin Dental Association President Dr. Eugene Shoemaker, a general dentist in Waukesha ,Wis.

Approximately 69 percent of U.S. residents (some 184 million people) who are on community water supplies have access to optimally fluoridated water according to the CDC.

Wisconsin is a national leader in fluoridation with 90 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.

“We are pleased Wisconsin communities have been singled out as water fluoridation award recipients,” Shoemaker added. “Local public health coalitions throughout the state devote a great deal of effort to bringing the oral health benefits of water fluoridation to as many communities as possible.”

The Wisconsin Dental Association was established in 1870. With more than 3,000 members statewide, the WDA represents 88 percent of all licensed dentists in Wisconsin. WDA members are committed to promoting professional excellence and quality oral health care. The WDA is headquartered in West Allis and has a legislative office in Madison. For more information, call 414-276-4520, visit our WDA.org website or find us on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube.