CDC Cites Community Water Fluoridation among Effective Strategies for Preventing Tooth Decay
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the National Governors Association and the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, has recently developed State Strategies to Improve Health and Control Cost tools and resources to provide public health stakeholders, governors’ offices, and Medicaid directors with specific, evidence-based population health strategies to integrate into healthcare delivery systems to improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of care within five years.
Community water fluoridation (CWF) is featured prominently as one of the five strategies to improve oral health and reduce costs. Why? Preventing tooth decay not only decreases unnecessary pain and suffering, but it alleviates lost time to school and work and reduces the need for costly treatment. Annually, billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits are devoted to care for preventable dental problems.
Community water fluoridation offers a solid return on investment because small municipal investments lead to savings on the state and federal level. A recent analysis estimated the savings that would be realized by the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs for dental expenditures by reducing disease, and they are substantial.
As an equitable way to provide primary prevention to all members of our communities, and as a cost containment measure for federal, state and local government, CWF just makes good dollars and good sense.