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Washington State Dental Association

NEW UNC STUDY SHOWS BENEFIT OF WATER FLUORIDATION FOR ADULTS

On March 1, the University of North Carolina released a report on the effects of fluoridated drinking water on dental caries in Australian adults. The report, which was published in the Journal of Dental Research, showed that adults with greater lifetime exposure to fluoridated water had lower levels of caries experience.

Data for the study was gathered through a series of oral examinations and written questionnaires from adults in each of Australia’s eight territories. The results concluded that Australian adults who were exposed to fluoridated water for over 75 percent of their lives had significantly fewer caries than those adults who had fewer than 25 percent lifetime exposure.

Australian Dental Association President, Dr. Karin Alexander commended the study saying, “reducing the frequency of dental decay and disease is in everybody’s interests. We hope that all levels of government, and especially those Local Councils that are deciding whether to continue the fluoridation of their water supplies, seriously consider this latest scientific research report.”  The full report can be viewed here.

Community water fluoridation is listed as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Washington, many communities do have access to fluoridated water systems but the percentage of Washington residents receiving fluoridated water is well below the national average. In 2010, CDC ranked Washington 35th nationally in percentage of residents receiving fluoridated water.

If you have any questions about community water fluoridation in Washington state, please contact WSDA Government Affairs Coordinator, Mike Walsh at 206-448-1914 or by email at michael@wsda.org.

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