To the Editor
The Palo Alto County Board of Health is encouraging all communities in the county to fluorinate their city water supply. What do you know about water fluoridation?
Fluoride Facts: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste helps but it is not enough to fully protect teeth. For most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.
Between 1972 and 2001, the rate of losing all of one’s teeth dropped 26 percent among lower-income seniors and fell 70 percent among upper-income seniors. Fluoridating water reduces cavity rates in children and adults by as much as 40% and often costs less than $1 per person per year.
Drinking water that is optimally fluoridated benefits people of all ages. For 65 years, community water fluoridation has been a safe and healthy way to effectively prevent tooth decay. A person’s income level or ability to receive routine dental care is not a barrier to receiving the health benefits of fluoridation.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommendation for the optimal fluoride level in drinking water to prevent tooth decay is 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water, which replaces the previous recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter.
Currently in Palo Alto County the city of West Bend does not have to fluorinate as their city water has natural fluorination. The city of Emmetsburg currently adds fluoride to their city water supply.
(signed) Julie Nelson, President,
Palo Alto County Board of Health
Board of Health Members:
Frank Veltri, MD
DA Nesheim, DVM