Public health victory in Portland: Fluoridation!
Portland, Ore., made a giant stride in public health last week by approving a water fluoridation program for the first time. Decades of research have shown that small amounts of fluoride in drinking water can prevent tooth decay, meaning fluoridation can protect oral health for the whole community.
Portland had been the largest U.S. city not to fluoride its water. It showed, too: Portland reportedly also has some of the worst tooth-decay problems in the nation. “When someone moves to Portland from another state — and that’s most people you meet in this city of transplants — their new dentist takes one look at their excellent teeth and concludes they must have been raised elsewhere, a place that puts fluoride in its drinking water,” wrote the Seattle Times last week. Portland’s new fluoridation program, at $5 million, will be very inexpensive for all the dental problems fluoridation can help prevent.
Voices has joined with the Pew Center on the States and the American Academy of Pediatrics to help promote community water fluoridation. Check out I Like My Teeth, our oral health site, for more about fluoridation and other ways to help protect smiles for kids!