Continued use of community water fluoridation aligns directly with the American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s mission to help improve the public’s oral and overall health.
Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final Public Health Service (PHS) recommendation for the optimal fluoride level in drinking water to prevent tooth decay. The new recommendation is for a single level of 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water. It updates and replaces the previous recommended range (0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter), which was issued in 1962.
Because it is now possible to receive enough fluoride with slightly lower levels of fluoride in water, HHS developed the new PHS recommendation for community water fluoridation. This change will maintain the protective decay prevention benefits of water fluoridation and reduce the occurrence of dental fluorosis.
“While additional sources of fluoride are more widely used than they were in 1962, the need for community water fluoridation still continues,” said U.S. Deputy Surgeon General Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH. “Community water fluoridation is effective, inexpensive and does not depend on access or availability of professional services.”
For more information about community water fluoridation, the Children’s Dental Health Project fluoridation toolkit (http://www.ilikemyteeth.org/) offers a number of resources and facts about water fluoridation. Information for health care providers and individuals on how to prevent tooth decay and reduce the chance of developing dental fluorosis also may be obtained by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation.
About the American Dental Hygienists’ Association
The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of more than 185,000 dental hygienists across the country. Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral health.
For more information about the ADHA, dental hygiene or the link between oral health and general health, visit the ADHA at www.adha.org.