Philomath Citizens Vote to Resume Public Water Fluoridation
March 13, 2012 -- The residents of Philomath voted in favor of water fluoridation this week, reversing a prior decision made last May from their city council to end fluoridation after over 30 years. Their vote ensures that their community will once again have all the health benefits of fluoridated water. Dismissing un-scientific arguments against fluoride, this election recognizes over 60 years of research that supports the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation as the best public health solution for protecting every citizen’s dental health.
“Water fluoridation reduces cavities anywhere from 20% to 40% over a person’s lifetime, and is especially important for children’s dental health. Philomath residents will now continue to enjoy the benefits of stronger dental health and the voters’ recent decision demonstrates their commitment to promoting the overall well-being of their community,” stated Bill Zepp, ODA Executive Director.
The lack of access to fluoridated water for most Oregonians is disturbing when virtually all major health and science institutions, including the American Medical Association, American Pediatric Association, and the American Dental Association, support fluoridation because it is the safest, most effective and affordable public health measure for preventing, and controlling tooth decay.
Philomath’s vote to fluoridate its water and protect their teeth is especially important at a time when tooth decay is the most common childhood disease often causing oral pain and infections, which in turn affects school attendance, nutrition, self-esteem, and general health. Sadly, Oregon ranks near the bottom among all other states in the percentage of children with untreated tooth decay, as well as the percentage of communities receiving fluoridated water.
“As a practicing dentist for 34 years, I can testify to the stark difference in the number of cavities from patients that live in fluoridated cities versus those who live in non-fluoridated areas. Fluoridation is a common-sense solution and I urge all other communities in Oregon to join Philomath and the majority of the country in preventing needless tooth decay and the associated costs and suffering,” said Philomath dentist and ODA member, Dr. Charles Baker.
Fluoridated water helps strengthen tooth enamel when teeth are growing, and continuously protects everyone’s teeth from the daily attack of plaque and sugars. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls water fluoridation "one of 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century," crediting it with a dramatic reduction in the prevalence of cavities.
Philomath’s voters made the right choice and now they rejoin the nearly 200 million Americans, benefiting everyday from fluoridated water.