MANATEE — Manatee County has been awarded for its excellence in community water fluoridation.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the county a Water Fluoridation Quality Award for 2013. Community water fluoridation is the “precise adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that is effective in preventing cavities,” according to a letter sent from Oral Health Florida to the county commission on June 26.
“It means that we have met our goals of fluoridating at the recommended levels,” Mark Simpson, Manatee County’s water division manager, said.
Manatee County was one of 2,184 public water systems
nationwide that received the award for maintaining a consistent level of fluoridated water throughout 2013, according to the letter. Thirty-five of the systems are located in Florida.
While fluoridation began nationally more than 70 years ago, the Florida State Board of Health officially endorsed fluoridation in 1949. About 13 million people in Florida have fluoridated water delivered to their homes daily, according to the letter.
“Fluoridation continues to remain the most cost-effective way to prevent dental cavities,” the letter reads. “Fluoridation is an ideal public health measure where everyone benefits, regardless of age, socioeconomic status, race, education or access to dental insurance without requiring any conscious effort of the individual.”
Manatee County will “continue to fluoridate per the recommendations,” Simpson said.