WOODBINE — The regular Woodbine City Council meeting last night, September 5, began with city officials talking to Jennifer Macke, of Crawford County Home Health, Hospice & Public Health, located in Denison. She is also a registered dental hygienist.

She explained some of the benefits of having the optimum level of fluoride in the city water and similarly, the importance of it.

The optimum level is 0.7 milligrams per liter, Macke said. Currently, the city’s level is at 0.3 milligrams per liter.

“Fluoride and fluoridated water can be compared to motor vehicle safety,” Macke said.

In a car, we rely on multiple features to keep us safe, some of which include the air bags and seat belts. She continued that we wouldn’t say that seat belts aren’t necessary because we have air bags.

“We would want both of them to protect us if we were in an accident,” Macke added.

Likewise, there are multiple ways we can get fluoride, like through the toothpaste we use and certain mouthwashes.

Macke said despite having these ways of getting it, we still need the optimum level in our water because it helps prevents roughly 25 percent of tooth decay in both adults and children.

Macke also emphasized to the Council that fluoride is not only good for children but also adults and older adults.

“It works to prevent decay on teeth already present in the mouth,” Macke said. “This reduces the time adults must take off work to have cavities filled and it helps older adults to keep their teeth longer.”

Water with the optimum level of fluoride is safe to use, too, according to many reviews that have been done over the years.

The great thing about systematic reviews is that they look at the results of the conducted studies and the quality of these studies, Macke said.

Financial assistance, through certain grants, is also available to help with water fluoridation.

At the end of the presentation by Macke, a few questions by residents were asked and answered.

The reason for Macke’s visit was to provide more information about the fluoridation of water to Council members so they could make an informed decision.

The item was not an action item, so the Council did not vote on anything.

Amber Nelson, city administrator, said she would put the matter on the next meeting’s agenda so the Council could vote on it.

*Original article online at https://www.loganwoodbine.com/news/article_795ec052-b1d8-11e8-b812-1f86cba17c4e.html