The Arkansas Department of Health announced yesterday that the City of Fort Smith Utility Department has been awarded a Water Fluoridation Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that is effective for prevention of tooth decay. The award recognizes those communities that achieve excellence in community water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent level of fluoride in drinking water throughout 2019. In 2019, a total of 1,523 public water systems in 29 states received these awards, including 58 in Arkansas.
“Water Fluoridation is one of the best investments that a community can make in maintaining the oral health of its citizens. It is equally as effective in preventing cavities in children and adults,” stated Casey Hannan, MPH, Director, CDC Division of Oral Health. “Fluoridation is also highly cost effective. Studies continue to show that for every $1 a community invests in water fluoridation, $20 are saved in dental treatment costs.”
Community water fluoridation has been recognized by the CDC as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th Century. CDC recommends water fluoridation as one of the most practical, cost-effective, equitable, and safe measures a community can take to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health.