Missouri – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has proudly announced Missouri’s recognition as one of 27 states awarded the Water Fluoridation Quality Award by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the year 2022. This award highlights the state’s commitment to maintaining optimal fluoride levels in its public water systems, showcasing a significant public health achievement.
In total, 1,209 public water systems across the 27 states were honored, with 53 of those being in Missouri. This recognition reflects the high standards these communities have maintained in adjusting fluoride levels in drinking water to optimize dental health benefits.
Commitment to Quality and Health
Gwen Sullentrup, the Community Water Fluoridation Coordinator for the Office of Dental Health within the Department of Health and Senior Services, expressed immense pride in Missouri’s water systems and personnel. She said, “They do fantastic job of making sure that we’re getting quality, clean water every single day. And those communities that are adding that benefit of fluoride are just taking it one step further.”
The CDC has recognized community water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century, underscoring its importance in enhancing community health. Sullentrup detailed the operational standards necessary for achieving this recognition, stating that water systems must maintain a fluoride concentration of 0.6-1.06 milligrams per liter.
The CDC recommends water fluoridation not only for its health advantages but also for its economic benefits. By adding fluoride to the water supply, communities can save substantially on dental health costs.
“Water fluoridation is one of the best investments that a community can make in maintaining the oral health of its citizens. It is equally as effective in preventing cavities in children and adults. Fluoridation is also highly cost effective. Studies continue to show that for every $1 a community invests in water fluoridation, $20 are saved in dental treatment costs,” said Casey Hannan, MPH, Director, CDC Division of Oral Health.
Missouri’s recognition in the Water Fluoridation Quality Awards of 2022 is a testament to the state’s unwavering dedication to public health and safety. Through meticulous attention to water fluoridation standards, Missouri not only advances the well-being of its residents but also sets a commendable example for communities nationwide in promoting a healthier future.