Bet you didn’t know that the Charleston Water System (CWS) and the S. C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Division of Oral Health, work together to provide public health benefits.
In what way you ask?
Recently the two organizations worked together to adopt a position statement supporting community water fluoridation. Fluoride is commonly found in water but most of the time, not enough to make a real impact.
Although oral health in the United States is much better today than it was many years ago, cavities are still one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), community water fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to deliver fluoride to people of all ages, education levels, and income levels who live in a community.
Fluoride has been proven to protect teeth from decay as well. Although fluoride-containing products, such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and dietary supplements are available and contribute to the prevention and control of tooth decay, community water fluoridation has been identified as the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all, reducing tooth decay by 25 percent in children and adults.1
Following the recommendations of many other organizations such as the World Health Organization, American Medical Association, Canadian Medical Association, CDC, American Dental Association, Canadian Dental Association, South Carolina Dental Association and other professional organizations in the medical community, the CWS works to adjust the naturally occurring level of fluoride in our drinking water in a responsible, effective, and reliable manner that includes monitoring and controlling fluoride levels as mandated by state and/or federal laws, regulations and recommendations.
For more information on what DHEC does to support community water fluoridation in local communities, contact Wes Gravelle.
References: 1 Griffin SO, Regnier E, Griffin PM, Huntley VN. Effectiveness of fluoride in preventing caries in adults. J Dent Res. 2007;86(5):410–414.