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Champions of fluoridation recognized

Oral health groups recognize communities, dentist for their work to enhance fluoridation

April 24, 2018

By Michelle Manchir

Photo of Dr. Newbrun
Dr. Newbrun
Louisville, Ky. — An internationally recognized expert on fluorides, oral biology, cariology and periodontology and a longtime member of the ADA National Fluoridation Advisory Committee was recognized in April for his achievements at the 2018 National Oral Health Conference.

The ADA; the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bestowed Dr. Ernest Newbrun, a dentist with a Ph.D. and professor emeritus at the University of California San Francisco, with its Fluoridation Special Merit Award, which is given for outstanding contributions toward the progress of fluoridation.

"Dr. Newbrun's career epitomizes efforts to bring community water fluoridation to the people of California and the United States," the award brochure states.

Dr. Newbrun has served as a reviewer for 27 different journals and presented his research findings at more than 75 international conferences and many additional national and regional meetings. Also an author, Dr. Newbrun has more than 100 items indexed by PubMed, spanning six decades, on topics such as the history of fluoridation and its safety and efficacy.

Most recently, Dr. Newbrun was an active member of the Fluoridation Advisory Committee in the Department of Health Services in Sonoma County, California.   His prior activities included serving as a member of the ADA National Fluoridation Advisory Committee for more than 25 years as well as founder and long-term board member of the Dental Health Foundation in California.

The ADA's 2018 edition of "Fluoridation Facts" is dedicated to Dr. Newbrun.

In receiving the award, Dr. Newbrun reflected on his career, remembering graduating with his first of two dental degrees from the University of Sydney (Australia) in 1954, when "we already knew from classical epidemiologic studies by H. Trendley Dean and others that persons residing in areas with sufficient natural fluoride in the drinking water experienced significantly less dental decay."

Though the "scientific evidence supporting fluoridation has been settled long ago," he said, "political and legal battles for fluoridation in some areas continue."

Still, he said, "looking back, there is no doubt of the progress that I have seen which is reflected in the increasing number of healthy mouths and happy smiles of the fluoride generation. I am proud to have been part of that effort which has always been one achieved by a team of dedicated health professionals."

The ADA/ASTDD/CDC also recognized several states, cities and community water suppliers at the conference.

Arkansas and Florida were honored with the 2017 State Fluoridation Initiative Award, which recognizes states with the most new systems fluoridated and/or the state that had the greatest population on fluoridated water in the last calendar year.

Meanwhile, Alaska, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota and Utah were recognized with the 2017 State Fluoridation Quality Award for consistent optimally fluoridated water in more than 90 percent of the adjusted water systems or population supplied by adjusted water systems.

Communities that passed water fluoridation initiatives during the past calendar year, receiving 2017 Community Initiative Awards, included Albuquerque, New Mexico; Wilmington, Ohio; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Harrisonburg, Virginia; and Lynnfield Center, Massachusetts.

Communities awarded the 2017 Community Fluoridation Reaffirmation Award for approving an initiative to maintain community water fluoridation or defeating initiatives to discontinue community water fluoridation during the past year were Petersburg, Alaska; Durango, Colorado; Fellsmere, Florida; Sudbury, Massachusetts; Bay St. Louis, Mississippi; Forest City and Orange Water and Sewer Authority in North Carolina; Rugby City, North Dakota; Ebensburg, Pennsylvania; Second South Cheatham Utility District, Jonesborough and Whiteville in Tennessee; Proctor, Vermont; Keyser, West Virginia; and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Finally, 132 communities and water districts were honored for 50 years of continuous community water fluoridation. They were Cullman Utilities Board, Tallahassee Water Works and Tuskegee Utilities Board in Alabama; Cabot Waterworks in Arkansas; Aspen-Castle Creek WTP and the City of Ft. Collins in Colorado; Several Aquarion Water Co. affiliates of Connecticut including the main system, the Greenwich system, Norton system and Stamford; also Connecticut Water Company in the Northern region Western System, the Shoreline region Guilford system, the Regional Water Authority, and the Wallingford Water Department in Connecticut; Dalton Utilities in Georgia; Aviston, Barrington, Canton, Centralia, Dawson, DeKalb, Delavan, East Alton, East Dundee, Elgin, Frankfort, Hoopeston, Illiopolis, Macon, Morris, Steger, Vandalia, Vienna and Waverly in Illinois; Storm Lake Water Treatment Plant and the University of Iowa Water System in Iowa; Aurora Utilities, Boonville Water Works in Veolia, Brookston Water Department, Mooresville Indiana American WC, Salem, Scottsburg Water Department, Sellersburg, South Bend Water Works and Vincennes Water Department in Indiana; Osage City and Water District 1 Johnson County in Kansas; Carlisle Water Department, Corbin Utility Commission, Kenton County Water Department, London Utility Commission, Pineville Water System, Richmond Water, Gas Sewer Works and Somerset Water System in Kentucky; Brewer Water Department, Ft. Fairfield Utility District, Island Falls Water Department, Mexico Water District and Van Buren Water District in Maine; Wenham, Massachusetts; Bronson, Great Lakes Water Authority in Detroit and Ostego, Michigan; Ada, Chatfield, Dodge Center, Fairfax, Gilbert, Grand Meadow, Hancock, Harmony, Hastings, Jackson, Lake Crystal, Morgan, Mound, Osakis, Owatonna, Pine City, Rosemount, Saint Clair, Sleepy Eye, Tracy, Waseca, Wells and Willmar in Minnesota; City of Iuka in Mississippi; Village of Utica in Nebraska; Rochester Water Department in New Hampshire; Fort Dix and Westchester County WD #2 in New Jersey; Albion Village, ECWA Direct, Grand Island Town Water Department, Mohawk Valley Water Authority, Northern Westchester Joint WW, Potsdam Village, Ravena Village, Richmondville Village and Troy City PWS in New York; Asheboro, Forest City and Greensboro in North Carolina; City of Enderlin and Fort Yates in North Dakota; Beaver Falls MA (Eastvale PLT) in Pennsylvania; Greer CPW and West Columbia in South Carolina; City of South Fulton, Erin, Henderson Water Department, Jasper Water Department, Madison Suburban UD, Martin Water Department, Metro Lynchburg Utility Department, Sharon Water System and Water Authority of Dickson County in Tennessee;  City of Alice and City of Sulphur Springs in Texas; Big Stone Gap, Covington and Galax in Virginia; Chehalis, Washington; Bluewell PSD, Kingwood Water Works and West Union Municipal Water in West Virginia; and Arlington Waterworks, Fox Lake, Shelby Tn Of Sd 2 Skyline, Strum and West Salem in Wisconsin.