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After votes, water fluoridation forges ahead in two communities

September 27, 2016

By Michelle Manchir

About 15,000 people in Duxbury, Mass., will continue receiving fluoridated water after a town vote in September favored the public health measure.

Dr. Andy Wiemeyer, who has a dental office in Duxbury, was among the local advocates for fluoridated water. He attended public meetings and also wrote a column the Boston Globe published that laid out the benefits of fluoridation.

“Public health policy is built on a strong base of scientific evidence,” Dr. Wiemeyer wrote. “When you consider the depth and breadth of research related to fluoridation that has been conducted over several decades, the overwhelming weight of that evidence supports its safety and effectiveness.”

With the 105-70 vote, water fluoridation will remain, Dr. Wiemeyer said, adding that he was among many dentists in the community that outspokenly favored fluoridation, which was key to earning support from residents.

“Dentists are the ones that are going to be asked about this issue, so dentists should be knowledgable on water fluoridation’s benefits,” he said, adding that he used the ADA publication, Fluoridation Facts, as a resource.


Fluoridation in Florida
County commissioners in Flagler County, Florida, voted in August to initiate water fluoridation for its utility customers and to also apply for a state water fluoridation grant to fund the project.

Four of five commissioners present Aug. 15  voted to approve plan, which the local public health department and local dentists and dental hygienists vocally supported.

Flagler County Health Department director Robert Snyder supported the effort, calling water fluoridation a “very important public health initiative,” according to local news reports.

“It is about time for Flagler to do something about tooth decay for both children and adults,” he said.

The vote will benefit about 10,000 people living on the water supply, according to the Florida Dental Association


ADA supports fluoridation
The ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations works with state and local dental societies, as well as individual members, to ensure communities involved in initiating or working to retain fluoridation programs are aware of the Association’s support for fluoridation.

The Association can send letters of support for fluoridation to decision-makers in communities. Anyone who would like a letter to be sent to a community in their state can contact Jane McGinley, manager of fluoridation and prevention health activities for the council, by email at Mcginleyj@ada.org.

For more information about fluoride and community water fluoridation, including resources from the ADA, visit ADA.org/fluoride.