Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) announced today that the City of Concord Water Treatment, the Laconia Water Works, and the Lebanon Water Department have been awarded a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fluoridation is the adjustment of the level of fluoride, a form of the element fluorine, in drinking water to an amount that is effective for preventing tooth decay.
(Left to right) Dave Brennan, Superintendent, Concord Water Treatment; Floyd Dungelman, Manager, Laconia Water Works; Jim Ayers, Superintendent, Lebanon Water Department
The award recognizes those communities that achieved excellence in community water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent level of fluoridated water throughout 2012. For 2012, a total of 1,791 public water systems in 34 states received these awards, including 3 in New Hampshire.
“Community water fluoridation is one of the most effective ways that communities can prevent tooth decay in children and adults,” stated Dr. Katherine Weno, DDS, JD, Director, CDC Division of Oral Health. “Our current research shows that people living in communities with fluoridated water have about 25% fewer cavities.
Community water fluoridation has been recognized by CDC as one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th Century. Currently, nearly three-quarters (749%)—or 204 million people in the United States—served by community water systems have access to optimally fluoridated tap water. CDC recommends water fluoridation as a safe, effective, and inexpensive method of preventing tooth decay. In fact, every $1 invested in fluoridation saves at least $38 in costs of dental treatment.
“We fully support community water fluoridation as a strategy to improve oral health,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “I want to commend the water departments of Concord, Laconia, and Lebanon for their work to improve the health of their communities. All residents who receive water from these and other fluoridating municipalities can enjoy community water fluoridation’s safe and protective benefits.”
For more information about water fluoridation, visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/rhpc/oral/index.htm, www.cdc.gov/fluoridation, or http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/dwgb/.