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Focus Area 2: Increased Access to Community Water System Fluoridation

Story Behind the Curve

Indicator 2.1: Percentage of population on community water systems receiving fluoridated water

Past generations have solved many problems of infectious disease for our people. Problems like small pox and measles are a thing of the past. Today, we have the tools to prevent the most common infectious diseases affecting children and families, including tooth decay. Preventing this disease will avoid expensive treatments, missed work, school and missed opportunities later in life.

Why is this important?

Background and rationale for focusing on the indicator.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), studies show that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by about 25 percent over a person's lifetime. Community water fluoridation is safe, effective, economical and available to all consumers of a fluoridated community water supply regardless of age, income, education, or socioeconomic status. Income and the ability to access regular dental care are not barriers to receiving fluoride's protective benefits. In addition, the CDC reports that “every $1 invested in this preventive measure yields approximately $38 savings in dental treatment costs.” The CDC has recognized water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Community Water Fluoridation. (July 2013) Accessed from on May 15, 2014.

How will we know this has been achieved?

Data Development Agenda: Priorities for new or improved data

  • County level data collection
  • Present all data through the health equity lens
  • Stories behind the baseline (data) Focus Area: Community Water Fluoridation:

    Factors that have contributed to improving the data:
  • Team approach of stakeholders (FDHA, OHF, FDOH, UFCD, local coalitions)
  • State and local legislative policies: Surgeon General, Local budgets for fluoridation systems (resources)
  • Advocacy/PR/media: Public hearings, articles, speakers, education materials
  • Research to offset anti-fluoridation (CDC, ADA)

  • Factors that restrict the data:
  • Anti-fluoridationists are communicating false information about fluoride chemical
    • Generates confusion/fear/doubt/lack of trust
    • Lack of information, common language and health literacy
    • Providing resources to maximize search engine optimization (SEO-Google)
  • Lack of consumer engagement at community level
  • Economics
    • Municipal budgets decree
    • Easy to cut fluoride budget – belief that removing fluoride will cut costs
    • Optional service - not a high priority
    • Don’t understand Return on Investment
  • Politics
  • Arguments regarding small government interfering in person life
  • Belief that removing fluoride will cut costs
  • Unknown status of health equity
  • Potential Partnerships:

    Partial list of critical partnerships identified to address underlying factors and garner support:

    �Florida Association of Counties


    �Water operators


    �Local dental groups

    �Dental insurance companies

    �Florida Department of Health

    �Florida Dental Hygiene Association

    �University of Florida School of Dentistry

    �Nova Southeastern University College of Dentistry

    �Florida League of Cities

    �Oral Health Florida

    �Local Coalitions

    �County Health Departments

    �American Dental Association

    �Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    �American Academy of Pediatrics Campaign for Dental Health (

    �Pew's Children's Dental Campaign Project

    �Children's Dental Health Project

    �Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors

    �Tribal Councils

    �National Dental Association

    �National Hispanic Association

    �Urban League


    Current Actual Value
    Current Target Value
    % Change

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