Community Water Fluoridation Builds #HealthyCommunities
Fact: Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood, more common than asthma or allergies.
Fact: To eat well and concentrate in school, children need healthy teeth and mouths.
Fact: Tooth decay is almost completely preventable.
Fact: Children suffer from more tooth decay when they live in communities that do not have water with fluoride.
Fact: Native American, Latino/Hispanic, and African American children suffer from higher rates of dental disease than other children.
Fact: Community water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by about 25%, in some places, even more.
Fact: For some children, water with fluoride is most, if not all, the preventive care available to them.
The Campaign for Dental Health, a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics, supports community water fluoridation because it is an evidence-based, time-tested preventive measure that benefits entire communities, especially children. It’s as simple and easy as drinking water. Community water fluoridation (CWF) builds #HealthyCommunities.
Not every community has everything it needs for optimal children’s health and wellness. In an ideal world, jobs would be plentiful and employers would support parent-friendly policies. Transportation would be convenient, efficient, and inexpensive. High-quality schools, with school-based health centers, would be available to all and easily accessible. Routes through neighborhoods would be safe, walkable, and lined with local businesses or natural areas. Playgrounds would be well equipped. After school programs, early childhood and senior centers, libraries, and community centers would thrive. A choice of grocery stores and even farmer’s markets would be present. Health providers, dentists, and public health clinics would be fully staffed and free of long wait times. The faith community, law enforcement, and the public and private sectors would work together to create conditions that benefit everyone. Racism, discrimination, and segregation would be addressed openly and constructively.
The social and economic disparities that result in children suffering from poor oral health also result in persistent inequities in the resources that build #HealthyCommunities. We’re talking about the social determinants of health and calling on everyone working to strengthen communities to spotlight their contributions during National Public Health Week using the hashtag #HealthyCommunities.