Fluoridation’s Top 13 in 2013

Posted & filed under Fluoride in the News.

2013 was a busy year in the fight to ensure all Americans have access to the oral health benefits of optimally fluoridated water, so we pulled together the following highlights from the past year. This list is just a snapshot of the pro-oral health efforts in 2013, but it clearly demonstrates that millions of Americans from rural Alaska to the U.S. Department of Defense, and many places in between, support the safety and effectiveness of community water fluoridation and are working together in the fight for fluoride.

Everyone at the Campaign for Dental Health looks forward to working with all of our partners and advocates around the country to continue to improve oral health and access to fluoride in 2014. Because, after all, life is better with teeth!

Top 13 in 2013
1. CDC released statistics showing the number of Americans with access to fluoridated water continued to increase between 2010 and 2012, to 74.6%. Compared to 2008, 15 million more Americans now receive the benefits of fluoridated water.

2. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA joined a long list of surgeons general in endorsing community water fluoridation.

3. More than a dozen communities around the country defeated attempts to roll back access to fluoridated water. As a result of their efforts, more than 1.4 million people retained access to fluoride this year.

4. At least three communities in the U.S. (Pinelas County, FL, St. Croix Falls, WI, and Brooksville, FL) fought to reverse decisions to remove fluoride and successfully restarted their fluoridation programs this year, with almost a million people regaining access to this preventive health benefit.

5. International support for fluoridation grew, too. Three communities in New Zealand reaffirmed their support for fluoridation; health officials in Australia released data strengthening the case for fluoridation in their country; and a new study found that German adults who grew up with fluoridated water experienced less tooth decay than those who did not.

6. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) soundly rejected a petition to eliminate access to an important form of fluoride regularly utilized in community water systems.

7. The U.S. Department of Defense outlined plans to ensure all military personnel have access to fluoridated water to improve the health and readiness of the U.S. military.

8. The Campaign for Dental Health almost doubled its membership of state, local, and national organizations working together to advance and protect access to fluoridated water.

9. Brighter Futures Michigan produced a new video to help educate the public about fluoridation’s safety and effectiveness.

10. Tampa Bay Times won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of local efforts to protect access to fluoridation.

11. The non-partisan fact-checkers at PolitiFact reviewed anti-fluoride activists’ claims and found them false. Other news organizations from around the country agreed: anti-fluoride activists’ claims are not credible.

12. In response to misrepresentations of the findings of peer-reviewed research conducted by Harvard scientists, the Deans of Harvard’s Medical School, School of Public Health, and School of Dental Medicine expressed their support of the safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation.

13. On NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Deputy Director of the Parks Department and City Council member, Leslie Knope, (played by Amy Poehler) successfully fluoridated the water of fictional Pawnee, Indiana, or, as Tom Haverford (played by Aziz Ansari) put it, helped Pawnee’s residents get #TDazzle.