COMMUNITY WATER FLUORIDATION
Advocacy | Health Equity
Community water fluoridation is a population health program that is in a unique position to equitably prevent dental caries across all socioeconomic groups (1). While dental caries is still the most prevalent chronic disease that disproportionately effects lower socioeconomic status communities, community water fluoridation continues to decrease cavities by 25% at the population level (2). COVID-19 has reaffirmed the importance of disease prevention and valuing public health infrastructure. There is a continued need for community water fluoridation to offer equitable access to oral disease prevention interventions. According to the New England Journal of Medicine’s 2022 publication “Oral Health for All- Realizing the Promise of Science”, policy changes are needed to integrate oral, medical, and behavioral health care prevention services across the community (3). The importance of broad policy initiatives, including the fluoridation of public water supplies, in conjunction with integrated health approaches, is reinforced.
Resources for community water fluoridation:
1) Zokaie T, Pollick H. Community water fluoridation and the integrity of equitable public health infrastructure. J Public Health Dent. 2021;1–4 https://doi.org/10.111/jphd12480
2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevalence of total and untreated dental caries among youth: United States 2015-2016. Atlanta, GA: NCHS Data Brief; 2018. https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/53470
3) D’Souza RN, Collins FS, Murthy VH. Oral Health for All — Realizing the Promise of Science. N Engl J Med. 2022;386(9):809-811. doi:10.1056/NEJMp2118478
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