National Children’s Dental Health Month highlights optimally fluoridated water
January 29, 2020
This year the February observance of National Children’s Dental Health Month
honors the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation with its theme, “Fluoride in water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap!”
“I am excited to share in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation this year with the rest of the dental community, and especially the public at large, who reap the benefits of fluoridation,” said ADA President Chad P. Gehani. “More than 75 years of scientific research has consistently shown that a recommended level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective. It also prevents tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults.”
Dr. Gehani continued: “Simply by drinking water, Americans can benefit from fluoride's cavity protection. My fellow dentists should proudly impart the message with their patients and communities this and every year.”
ADA President-elect Daniel J. Klemmedson noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. He encouraged dentists to take advantage of ADA resources this month to arm themselves with the facts about water fluoridation to help children and their parents in the quest for better oral health.
“For 75 years, people in the United States have been drinking water with added fluoride and enjoying the benefits of better dental health,” Dr. Klemmedson said. “Dentists can brush up on the facts by downloading the free-for-members ‘Fluoridation Facts’ and learning more about how correct dosing ensures the optimal prevention of tooth decay so we can all answer any questions about it from our patients.”
ADA Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin said history has proven the benefits of fluoridation for children.
“Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first U.S. city to fluoridate its public water supply in 1945,” Dr. O’Loughlin said. “Five years later, when the schoolchildren of Grand Rapids were found to have significantly fewer cavities than children from surrounding communities, other Michigan cities also began fluoridating and soon achieved similar results. Today, the majority of local water systems around the country are fluoridated, and communities have reaped the major preventative benefits that give kids and families a head start on good oral health.”
Free posters — with English on the front, Spanish on the back — about National Children’s Dental Health Month are available to order on the National Children’s Dental Health Month website, ADA.org/ncdhm
. They can also be downloaded and printed in poster and flyer sizes.
Other National Children’s Dental Health Month materials on the website include:
• A 2020 National Children’s Dental Health Month program planning guide, which offers resources that promote the benefits of good oral health to children. The guide includes easy-to-do activities, program planning timetable tips, a sample National Children’s Dental Health Month proclamation and more.
• Publicity resources, including a create-your-own press release, radio broadcasting tips and sample newspaper articles.
• Free activity sheets for kids, including crosswords, coloring sheets, calendars and maze sheets in both English and Spanish.
For additional community water fluoridation information, including the free downloadable “Fluoridation Facts,” visit ADA.org/fluoride
or contact Tooka Zokaie, manager of ADA fluoridation and preventive health activities, at firstname.lastname@example.org.