Elizabethton, Rogersville honored for 50 years of community water fluoridation

Published 10:01 am Thursday, August 31, 2017

JOHNSON CITY — The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors on behalf of the American Dental Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have recognized Water Departments in Elizabethton and Rogersville with a 50 Year Award for contributions made on behalf of community water fluoridation.

“These communities have been optimally fluoridating their water since 1966,” said Dr. Alisa Cade, Dental Director for the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Office. “The whole community benefits. Children and adults alike, have less tooth decay and fewer cavities thanks to fluoridated water.”   

Community water fluoridation began in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1945 and in Milan, Tenn., in 1951. Studies of children in Tennessee showed a 75% decline in tooth decay in children’s permanent teeth between the early 1950s and 1988. “Dental caries, or cavities, is the most common chronic childhood disease. Community water fluoridation not only helps prevent oral disease, it improves overall health of our community members,” said Caroline Hurt, Director of Carter County Health Department.

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More than 100 national and international agencies have recognized the health benefits of community water fluoridation including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dental Association, Mayo Clinic, and World Health Organization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified community water fluoridation 1 of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century.

For more information about fluoridation, visit the American Dental Association website: http://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/advocating-for-the-public/fluoride-and-fluoridation or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation.