Lewiston has made great strides in improving the dental health of the city’s children through fluoridation of the water supply during the last three years. Results of tests started in June 1947, were released Monday by the city engineer’s office, which conducted the work with the aid of the United States public health service, the north central Idaho health unit, Lewiston dentists and the Lewiston Welfare league.
The results announced by Dr. Walter J. Peyton, regional dental consultant, with the USPHS, are definitely encouraging.
The decay rate for children of 7 has been reduced from 1.4 teeth in 1947 to .6 of a tooth in 1950, a reduction of approximately 58 per cent. The decay rate for children of 8 has dropped from 2.6 teeth to 1.7 teeth, a saving of 35 per cent. The decay rate for children of 9 has decreased from 3.7 teeth to 2.8, a saving of 25 per cent.
These figures are graphic evidence of what the addition of fluoride has meant to Lewiston. The expense has been negligible, 16 cents per capita each year during the three-year period.
Now that the tests are out of the experimental stage supplementing the city water supply with correct quantities of fluoride should be made a permanent project.
Lewiston should be proud, not only because of the saving made in decay among its younger citizens, but because it is one of the few cities in the United States to undertake such an experiment. This is one of the 12 cities in the nation and the only one west of the Rocky mountains to add fluoride to its water supply. Lewiston was chosen for the experiment because of its excellent purification plant facilities and trained personnel.
It is in keeping with the progressive tradition of Lewiston that it can be one of the national leaders in this program.
*This article was re-published on September 29, 2017, in an article online at http://www.cdapress.com/article/20170929/AP/309299922