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Vermont city favors fluoridation

March 08, 2016

By Michelle Manchir

Rutland, Vt.— Voters overwhelmingly came out in favor for continued water fluoridation March 1 in this town of about 16,500.
    
In an advisory ballot question asking voters whether the local commissioner of public works should fluoridate the city's water supply, voters who answered the question overwhelmingly said "yes" — 2,817 to 1,813, or 61 percent to 39 percent.
    
"Voters heard the positive messages from the dental community in many different ways and saw the commitment of the dental profession to the public's oral health," said Dr. Judith Fisch, ADA 1st District trustee, who was among the local dentists educating voters about the benefits of water fluoridation.  "I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the vote and relieved that our community will continue with the benefit of this public health measure."
    
Rutland's city charter leaves the ultimate decision of water fluoridation up to its public works commissioner, Jeff Wennberg, who has said he bases his decision on recommendations from public health experts.
    
The city has been fluoridated continuously since 1982, following voter approval, according to city documents. In 1983, the question of water fluoridation was back on the ballot, with voters saying "no" to a question about whether to rescind fluoridation.
    
The ADA endorses the fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. For more information from the ADA about water fluoridation, visit ADA.org/Fluoride or contact Jane McGinley, ADA manager of fluoridation and preventive health activities, at mcginleyj@ada.org.