Fluoridation: An Easy Solution to A Problem Affecting 1 in 2 Kids
Meg Biallas Henry (Former Staff)Health Racial Equity
One of the most common childhood diseases is also the most preventable. Tooth decay impacts nearly half of all American children under the age of 11.
We also know that tooth decay disproportionally affects children of color and those from low socioeconomic levels. Studies have shown that children of Mexican origin, and black non-Hispanic children are more likely than white non-Hispanic children to experience untreated tooth decay.
Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to oral pain, difficulty eating, and increased school absences due to surgery. The effects can spiral out of control, putting kids even further behind their peers, and snowballing into future health problems.
The good news is that community fluoridation is a solution that protects everyone – especially kids – against at least 25% of tooth decay.
How does community fluoridation work? Fluoride occurs naturally in groundwater and contains properties that help teeth re-mineralize. Community water systems are designed to add the right amount of fluoride into public drinking water to prevent tooth decay.
The Campaign for Dental Health has launched ILikeMyTeeth.org to raise awareness of fluoridation in community water systems, and to encourage its implementation for the benefit of all children.
The cost-benefit ratio makes one thing obvious – community fluoridation is a cost saver. In most places, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment – money that would otherwise come from CHIP, Medicaid, or other government resources.
Community fluoridation is also incredibly easy to implement. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers technical assistance to states interested in operating a community fluoridation program.
The research is clear: Community fluoridation is an easy, affordable solution to a disease that adversely affects our most at-risk children. How can we say no to such an easy solution for such a common problem?
Fluoridation: An Easy Solution to A Problem Affecting 1 in 2 Kids @ILikeMyTeeth: http://ctt.ec/ON69b+
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