The Town of Bridgeville began adding fluoride to its public water system on Jan. 2 to comply with state law, according to the Division of Public Health’s Office of Drinking Water.
Under Senate Bill 173, passed in 1998, municipal water supplies must fluoridate their water. There is no established time frame for compliance.
The DPH says that for more than 40 years, the American Dental Association has endorsed fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay that leads to cavities. Fluoride occurs naturally in the earth’s crust and small amounts occur naturally in all water sources. The optimal level for fluoride in drinking water is 1.0 parts per million.
Bridgeville’s entire municipal water system of 678 service connections will receive fluoridated water. The completed project, which began on Sept. 9, cost $38,146.96 and was funded by a grant from Delaware’s 21st Century Fund. The Town of Bridgeville will monitor fluoride levels daily and report results monthly to DPH’s Office of Drinking Water. The Office of Drinking Water will collect and test monthly samples from Bridgeville’s public water system.
Other municipalities providing fluoridated water include Bethany Beach, Blades, Camden Wyoming, Chestnut Grove, Clayton, Delaware City, Delmar, Dover, Felton, Georgetown, Henlopen Acres, Laurel, Lewes, Middletown, Milford, Milton, New Castle, Newark, Seaford, Selbyville, Smyrna, South Bethany, Townsend and Wilmington.
Children who drink optimally fluoridated water daily do not need to take fluoride dietary supplements. Children in households receiving Bridgeville’s municipal water should discontinue fluoride supplements.
However, households with home water treatments should consult the manufacturer to determine if their systems remove fluoride. If so, parents and their children’s pediatricians should discuss whether fluoride supplements are needed.