Water Fluoridation Safety and Efficacy for Children and Young Adolescents By: Sunday Rivers Walden University PUBH-8165-2 Environmental Health
Water Fluoridation • In 2000, the center for disease control and prevention (CDC) estimated that 162.1 million Americans were receiving fluoridated water, which is 57.6% of the total population and includes 65.8% of those on public water systems (Macek, Matte, Sinks, and Malvitz, 2006, p.130).
Water Fluoridation • Fluoridation of drinking water began 60 years ago in the United States, and it continues in 60% of public water supplies in the country (Kauffman, 2005, p.38). • Harmful effects my include bone and tooth fractures and increased cancer rates.
Water Fluoridation • 70% of cities in the United States with populations > 100,000 have community fluoridated water programs. • 42 of the 50 largest cities in the United States had fluoridated water supplies by 1992
Other Sources of Fluoride • Toothpaste • Most widely used topical source of fluoride • Fluoridated food • meat, fish, poultry • Beverages (tea) • Breast milk • Professional Use • Mouth rinse
Community Water Fluoridation • Remains one of the most successful public health programs in American history. • Fluoridated water is accessible to all people regardless of socioeconomic status, educational attainment or other social measures • Members of the community do not need to change behavior to obtain the benefits of fluoride • The frequency of exposure is higher and is present over time, making it effective through the life span in preventing caries • Community water fluoridation is more cost effective than other forms of fluoride application
No Water Fluoridation • Although safety and efficacy of water fluoridation is well established in the scientific community, some oppose its practice. • Opponents of fluoridation have argued that fluoridation is associated with increased risk of cancer, congenital anomalies Alzheimer’s disease, AIDs, bone fractures, and Gilberts disease
Fluorosis • Dental fluorosis is a hypomineralization of enamel of teeth caused by the chronic ingestion of excessive amounts of fluoride during the period when teeth are forming within the jaw. • Fluorosis does not affect the health of teeth or of an individual, but, it in its more severe forms, may cause cosmetic concerns.
No Water Fluoridation • Other arguments against community fluoridation center around cost, freedom of choice, violation of individual rights and religious beliefs • Antifluoridation activists have also argues that fluoridation is conspiracy involving the US government, the health care establishment, and industry.
Why Water Fluoridation? • Starting of continuing water fluoridation in a community can decrease tooth decay by as much as 50%, while discontinuing the practice can increase dental caries by as much as 60% (Water Fluoridation crucial for community health., 2002).
Why Water Fluoridation • Fluoride has change the face of dental diseases in this country • Dental caries or tooth decay, is a symptom of bacterial infection in the mouth that causes a physiological disturbance resulting in demineralization of the teeth.
Why Fluoridated Water? • Dental caries and periodontal disease are the most common oral health problems of children and adults in the United States. • 20% of children, however, have 80% of all dental problems.
Intervention • If prevention is to be maximized, initial examinations and the education of parents in the application of preventive procedures should begin during the first year of life.
Barriers • Many of the challenges facing the post-fluoride generation have to do with poverty other socioeconomic disparities • Lifestyle • Limitations in access to care • Dental fear
Strategies for Public Health • Dental health needs should transcend the local and state level. It must gain national attention • More community outreach programs • Early intervention • Increase periodontal care • Increase attention to smoking cessation and oral cancer.
References • Horowitz, H. (1999). Proper use of fluoride products in fluoridated communities. Lancet, 353 (9613), 1462. • Kauffman, J. (2005). Water Fluoridation: a Review of Recent Research and Actions. Journal of American Physicians & Surgeons, 10 (2), 38-44. • Macek, M., Matte, T. Sinks, T. and Malvitz, D. (2006). Blood lead concentrations in children and method of fluoridation in the United States, 1988-1994. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114, (1), p.130-134. • Milgrom, P. and Reisine, S. (2000). Oral Health in the United States: The Post-Fluoride Generation. Annual Review Public Health, 21, 403-436. • Water Fluoridation crucial for community health. (2002). Nation's Health , 6.