Fluoride Action Network

Letter. Potsdam: Fluoridated water has proven health benefits

Source: Watertown Daily Times | August 11th, 2018 | By Stephen A. Jennings, Jefferson County Public Health Service
Location: United States, New York

An article published in the Watertown Daily Times on July 29 noted the village of Potsdam continues to consider removing fluoride from its water supply.

This is very concerning from public and oral health perspectives.

Fluoride exists naturally in nearly all water supplies.

Water is “fluoridated” when a public water system adjusts the fluoride to a level that is optimal for preventing tooth decay.

It is extremely safe, and its population health impact has been credibly cited as one of the most successful public health advances in the 20th century.

Fluoridation of public water systems has expanded in the 21st century.

Between 2000 and 2014, the percentage of U.S. populations on public water systems receiving fluoridated water increased from 65.0 percent to 74.4 percent.

Adults and children without community water fluoridation experience more dental health problems.

A New York state study completed in 2010 revealed that low-income children in less fluoridated counties needed 33 percent more fillings, root canals and extractions than those in counties where fluoride was common.

Research demonstrates that children who drink water fluoridated at optimal levels can experience 20 percent to 40 percent less tooth decay.

The Keep the North Country Smiling Coalition, comprised of dental providers, and health and human service agencies across Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, is working regionally to address significant adverse health indices related to poor oral health throughout the region.

A key strategy that contributes to achieving optimal oral health for all is to maintain or expand community water fluoridation.

As Dr. Andrew F. Williams of the St. Lawrence County Board of Health stated well in the article:

“The efficacy and safety of fluoridation of water is not simply a matter of opinion.

The extensive scientific research on the matter has been reviewed, leading the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dental Association, Mayo Clinic, American Medical Association and many other respected medical and health organizations to recognize and endorse the health benefits of fluoridation.”

The Keep the North Country Smiling coalition fully concurs with Dr. Williams’s statement and respectfully urges village of Potsdam trustees to support continuation of its community water fluoridation program.

Stephen A. Jennings


The writer is an organizing member of the Keep the North Country Smiling Coalition and a public health planner with the Jefferson County Public Health Service.

*Original article online at http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/opinion/fluoridated-water-has-proven-health-benefits-20180811