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Water fluoridation facts highlight of new website

December 17, 2015

By Michelle Manchir

Denver — The Colorado Dental Association and other oral health officials in the state launched in December a new consumer website to communicate the benefits, safety and science-based support of community water fluoridation.

The site, www.COFluorideFacts.org, comes as widespread misinformation about community fluoridation and misguided science on the topic is available online. Meanwhile, some officials in U.S. cities, including some in Colorado, have put the issue on the ballot, allowing voters to decide whether a community initiates or continues water fluoridation.

Screen capture of Colorado Fluoride Facts web pageThe necessity for accurate and available information for the public drove the creation of the site. The Colorado Dental Association and Oral Health Colorado, with input from the ADA, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Oral Health unit, developed the website.

“The Colorado Dental Association and its partners had an intense year of fluoride activity in 2015,” said Colorado Dental Association Executive Director Greg Hill. “We felt that there was a lack of easily accessible information for policy makers and the public who were seeking facts to make decisions for the health of their families and communities. With so much misinformation (online) when it comes to water fluoridation, we felt it was important to create the ‘go to’ website in Colorado, developed by Coloradans, that provides the facts when it comes to fluoride.”

The site includes links to a tool that allows searches by state, county and water provider and shows fluoridation levels and statistics about each water system; quotes and other information from respected organizations and health experts; and other facts about the science and health benefits of water fluoridation.

“Community water fluoridation is essential to protecting our children, especially those without access to regular dental care and who grow up in families with poor dental hygiene and nutrition,” said Deborah Foote, executive director of Oral Health Colorado, in a news release. “Simply by turning on the tap, children who live in fluoridated communities, on average, have 2.25 fewer cavities than those not living in fluoridated communities.”

The site is mobile- and tablet-friendly so elected officials and advocates of water fluoridation can use the information during public meetings. The Colorado groups also launched a Facebook page and Twitter handle to go with the site and further inform the public: www.facebook.com/COFluorideFacts and Twitter.com/COFluorideFacts.

The ADA endorses the fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. The Association, along with state and local dental societies, continues to work with federal, state, local agencies and community coalitions to increase the number of communities benefiting from water fluoridation.

For more information from the ADA about water fluoridation, ADA.org/Fluoride.