The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today that six Iowa water systems have been awarded fluoride certificates by the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Dental Association (ADA). Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in the water to an optimal level for preventing tooth decay. The award recognizes communities that maintained a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water throughout 2012.
The awarded communities include:
50 Year Award (1962-2012)
- Council Bluffs
- Red Oak
2012 Community Fluoridation Reaffirmation Award
Fluoride is a natural element found in rocks, soil, and water. Fluoride's benefits for teeth were discovered in the 1930s. Dental scientists found low tooth decay rates among people whose water supplies contained natural fluoride. In communities of 20,000 people, every $1 invested in water fluoridation results in $38 of savings in dental treatment costs.
The CDC has recognized community water fluoridation as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th Century and recommends water fluoridation as a safe, effective, and inexpensive method of preventing tooth decay. IDPH is a strong supporter of fluoridation programs. The IDPH Division of Environmental Health monitors the fluoridation of public water supplies, assists and trains water system operators, and helps communities with fluoridation projects. To see the fluoridation status of Iowa counties and towns, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/hpcdp/fluoride_search.asp.