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For Release:  (Date) 2011 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – 405/271-5601

Fourteen Oklahoma Communities Commended for Optimal Water Fluoridation

The residents of 14 Oklahoma communities can smile brighter due to the award-winning fluoridation levels in their community.  

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced today that 14 Oklahoma communities have been awarded a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in the water to a level that is optimal for preventing tooth decay. The award recognizes those communities that maintained a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water throughout 2010. 

The 14 Oklahoma public water supplies recognized with an award were Ada, Altus, Del City, Tinker Air Force Base, Durant, Elk City, Enid, Madill, Muskogee, Ponca City, Skiatook, Stillwell, Tahlequah and Pryor.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, dental diseases are among the most prevalent health problems in Oklahoma.

“The Oklahoma State Department of Health supports community water fluoridation and recognizes the practice as safe, cost-effective and beneficial to all,” said Dr. Jana Winfree, chief of the Dental Health Service at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. “For more than 65 years, fluoridated water has resulted in a remarkable decline in the prevalence and severity of dental decay.”

Community water fluoridation has been recognized by the CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

“Widespread community water fluoridation prevents cavities and saves money, both for families and the health care system,” said Winfree. “It is an ideal public health measure because no compliance is required – just drink and use the water.  Beverages and foods processed in fluoridated communities benefit all who consume these products.”

Winfree acknowledged Ada’s contribution to public health. “Living in a highly fluoridated state promotes better oral health even for those living in non-fluoridated communities within that state.  The health department promotes the retention and/or the implementation of the practice in all qualifying Oklahoma communities.”

“Good oral health contributes to good overall health,” Winfree emphasized.

For more information on community water fluoridation, visit the CDC website “My Water’s Fluoride” at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/MWF/Index.asp.

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