KTOO-FM Juneau, AK (12/26, Hsieh) reports Jennifer Meyer, a public health researcher, found that dental caries increased in Juneau, Alaska after the city stopped adding fluoride to its drinking water over 10 years ago. Meyer studied Medicaid dental claims for children in Juneau from both before and after the city stopped adding fluoride, finding that for children under six, “cavity-related procedures” increased from “about one-and-a-half” on average per year when the water contained added fluoride, to “about two-and-a-half procedures a year” after the city stopped adding fluoride to the water. Meyer said the findings indicate “the trade-off” for discontinuing community water fluoridation is “children are going to experience one additional caries procedure per year, at a ballpark (cost) of $300 more per child.” The findings were published in the journal BMC Oral Health.For more information about fluoride and the ADA’s advocacy efforts on fluoridation, visit ADA.org/fluoride.
Dental professionals can point their patients to the ADA’s consumer website, MouthHealthy.org/fluoride, for more information. The Journal of the American Dental Association also offers this patient handout, Drink Up! Fluoridated Water Helps Fight Decay.