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Fluoridation

AAPHD Resolution on Community Water Fluoridation

Adopted by the Assembly of AAPHD members, October 16, 1992.
J Pub Health Dent 1993;53(1):59-60.

WHEREAS, dental caries is one of the most prevalent health problems in the United States with 80 percent of 15-17-year-old youth having experienced dental decay; and

WHEREAS, extensive scientific documentation over the past half-century has established and consistently reaffirmed that fluoridation of community water supplies is the safest and the most cost-effective community-based method of preventing dental caries, regardless of socio-economic status; and

WHEREAS, increasing numbers of older adults today are retaining more of their teeth for longer periods of time and, therefore, are at risk of experiencing dental decay throughout their lives; and

WHEREAS, the entire dentate population, including adults and older adults, receives substantial oral health benefits from fluoridation; and

WHEREAS, certain groups, e.g., those of lower socioeconomic status and underserved groups, are disproportionately affected by dental diseases while having less access to clinical prevention and treatment services; and

WHEREAS, dental caries experience has increased in communities in which fluoridation was discontinued; and

WHEREAS, it is specified in Objective 13.9 of the Healthy People 2000 National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for the United States that at least 75 percent of the population served by community water systems should be receiving the benefits of optimally fluoridated water by the year 2000 (baseline: 61.4% in 1989); and

WHEREAS, community water fluoridation is a significant cost containment measure available for dental caries prevention in communities throughout the United States, costing an average of approximately 50 cents per person per year while reducing the need for expensive treatment; and

WHEREAS, extensive scientific evidence supports the continued desirability of introducing and/or maintaining fluoridation in community water supplies; and

WHEREAS, fluoridation is endorsed by virtually every major national and international organization concerned with health and safety, such as the US Public Health Service and its associated agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the American Public Health Association, the American Water Works Association, the American Dental Association, the American Dental Hygienists' Association, the American Medical Association, the International Association for Dental Research, and the World Health Organization; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH DENTISTRY:

1. Reaffirms its support for the continuation and expansion of community water fluoridation; and
2. Encourages its members and constituents to be well informed about and to continue to support optimal fluoridation, and to help develop national and regional coalitions in support of fluoridation; and
3. Commends communities and states that are providing access to optimal levels of fluoride in the drinking water and encourages them to continue to fluoridate and to monitor the process, and participate in national monitoring activities; and
4. Calls upon the following to continue to provide encouragement and assistance for meeting the year 2000 fluoridation objective:

· the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Surgeon General;
· all oral health and other health programs at the federal, state, and local levels;
· schools of dentistry, dental hygiene, and all other institutions that educate health professionals;
· the US Conference of Mayors;
· the National League of Cities;
· the National Governors' Association;
· the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses;
· the US Chambers of Commerce;
· health professional organizations at national, state, and local levels; and

5. Calls upon oral health and public health organizations and institutions to provide leadership in educating public officials, policy makers, and the general public about the need to implement and/or maintain optimal community water fluoridation; and
6. Calls upon the US Congress to appropriate, and the states to allocate, adequate resources to meet the year 2000 fluoridation objective.

Bibliography

1. Ripa LW. A half-century of community water fluoridation in the United States; review and commentary. J Public Health Dent 1993;53(1):29-56.
2. US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. Healthy people 2000--national health promotion and disease prevention objectives. DHHS pub no (PHS)91-50212, 1991.
3. American Public Health Association. Healthy communities 2000--model standards, guidelines for community attainment of the year 2000 national health objectives. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 1991.


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