Fluoride Action Network

William Maas, former head of CDC’s Division of Oral Health, now advisor at Pew’s dental health initiative

Source: Dental Public Health Listserv | February 6th, 2009 | Shelly Gehshan, Director, Advancing Children


Subj: [DPH] Good News from the Pew Children’s Dental Health Initiative

Date: 2/6/2009 1:00:52 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
From: SGehshan@pewtrusts.org
To: dental-public-health@list.pitt.edu

Dear Colleague,

The Pew Center on the States is pleased to announce that Dr. William Maas, retired assistant surgeon general and former director of the Division of Oral Health in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is joining our new children’s dental health initiative as a policy advisor. While he is assigned to Pew, he will retain his role as an advisor to the director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP).
As many of you know, Pew this year is launching a new campaign to increase access to dental care for low-income children. The initiative is part of a growing effort by the Pew Center on the States to demonstrate the proven benefits of early investment in children, and advocate for policies that support that goal. Our children’s dental health campaign will work with stakeholders throughout the dental and health policy communities to raise awareness of the problem, advocate for specific policy changes, and showcase states that can serve as models for reform. At the same time, we are launching advocacy efforts in a number of states where new policy changes could dramatically improve children’s lives.

As our policy advisor, Dr. Maas will advise the team on effective strategies to improve children’s oral health, build partnerships between Pew and the CDC, forge links to other organizations, and use his broad expertise working with state oral health programs to help us run effective campaigns.

Prior to joining Pew Center on the States, Dr. Maas was a member of the project team that prepared Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, and he continued to play a key role in development of A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health. He will continue his work for the CDC fostering public-private partnerships to respond to the National Call to Action and promoting actions to expand the reach and effectiveness of community preventive interventions.

We are thrilled that Dr. Maas has joined our team and are looking forward to working with you to make important advances in the field of children’s dental health. Bill can be reached at bmaas-advisor@pewtrusts.org, or 202-552-2183.

Shelly Gehshan
Director | Advancing Children’s Dental Health Initiative
Pew Center on the States
The Pew Charitable Trusts | 901 E Street NW, Washington DC 20004


See also:

• January 15, 2008: Fluoride-Gate, naming names at Centers for Disease Control – “… Instead of having its ethics committee comprised of external ethicists look into the matter, CDC decided that the ethics charges against Director Dr. Julie Louise Gerberding and Oral Health Director William Maas would be handled internally by Dr. James Stephens, who works for Chief Science Officer Dr. Popovic, who reports to Dr. Gerberding….”

• August 13, 2007: Formal Complaint Charges CDC Oral Health Division with Ethics Violations

• August 13, 2008: William Maas, CDC’s Oral Health Director Steps Down

• February 7, 2007: CDC, dental group warn of too much fluoride for babies – “Since the beginning we knew there was a trade off between preventing tooth decay and enamel fluorosis,” said William Maas, director of CDC’s Division of Oral Health… The issue isn’t the infant formula itself, but the water it’s reconstituted with, Stamm and Maas said. For their size, babies consume a large percentage of their body weight in fluoridated water when reconstituted formula is their primary source of nutrition… The CDC, which published its background paper on the formula issue in December, said parents should check the fluoride level of their water supply, then weigh the risk of minor white flecking against the potential protective benefits of early fluoride exposure against tooth decay. “They need to consider the trade off and decide accordingly,” Maas said.

• September 4, 2006: Fluoride Risks Are Still A Challenge Fluoride Risks Are Still A Challenge– “… Before [FAN Conference], organizer Paul Connett had invited William R. Maas, director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Division of Oral Health, to come to the conference and present the reasons why he believes it is still a good idea to fluoridate drinking water. In a letter written in June, Maas declined the invitation, saying CDC’s views on the benefits of fluoridation can be viewed at www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/waterfluoridation/benefits.htm. The findings of the 2006 NRC report on fluoride “are consistent with our assessment that water is safe and healthy at the levels used for water fluoridation (0.7-1.2 mg/L),” Maas wrote.” …

• November 26, 2005: Communities debate fluoride in tap water – “… Advocates say fluoridating water is a community, rather than an individual, decision. “We do this as a community,” said Dr. William Maas, director of the Division of Oral Health at the CDC. Those who oppose fluoride don’t have to drink the water, he said”

• August 25, 2003: Fluoride Concerns Surface Once Again – “… Although the NRC panel’s formal charge does not include an examination of the benefits of fluoride, William R. Maas, director of the division of oral health at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, spoke for nearly an hour, defending water fluoridation. He attributed the sharp decline in dental caries experienced in the U.S. since the late 1940s to fluoridation and called it “an important public health achievement.” In the U.S., 162 million people, or about 55% of the population, are drinking fluoridated water, yet only 1.3% of school children experience moderate or severe dental fluorosis, he said. Altogether, 22% of children have some degree of fluorosis, he explained…”

• October 17, 2004: N.J. to consider fluoride in water– “…Maas of the CDC, who is scheduled to appear tomorrow, is dismissive of the opposition’s claim that science is on their side…”

• February 21, 2002: CDC’s William Maas: Telebriefing transcript on fluoridated water Q & A – “… Now, every time the issues have been studied by independent review bodies such as those constituted by the National Academy of Science, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council, those scientific bodies that we rely on to give us advice about many scientific and environmental issues for the nation, every time they’ve looked at this issue they’ve found no credible evidence for the adverse health claims that have been made….”

• September 3, 2004: Panel hears benefits of fluoridated water– “… Also addressing the lawmakers was William R. Maas, director of the division of oral health with the National Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga. “Although other fluoride-containing products are available, water fluoridation remains the most equitable and cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all members of most communities, regardless of age, educational attainment or income level,” Maas said…”

• September 9, 2001: N.J. dentists making push for fluoridated water– “… Fluoridating water supplies is still the most cost-effective way to prevent dental decay, said Dr. William R. Maas, oral health director for the CDC. Low-income families benefit the most, he said, as they are less likely to have the education or structure in their lives necessary to maintaining regular brushing, flossing, and dentist visits. They are also more likely to lack dental insurance…”