For 65 years, community water fluoridation has been a safe and healthy way to effectively prevent tooth decay. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.3 However, only 61 percent of Arkansans get fluoridated water, which is well below most other states.
In 2011, the Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 197 requiring water municipalities serving 5,000 or more customers to fluoridate their public water system without using taxpayer dollars. Realizing the positive impact fluoridated water can have on the dental health of Arkansans, the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation committed up to $6 million to pay the reasonable start-up costs associated with adding fluoride to water systems.
When this program is fully implemented, the number of Arkansans receiving fluoridated water will rise from 61 percent to 87 percent, which will have a substantial impact on the oral health of over 500,000 Arkansans. The Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation is proud to support water fluoridation efforts across the state, and we believe our commitment is an investment in the health of Arkansans.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/