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Community Water Fluoridation


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Oct 26th 2015

Published in: Healthcare
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Community Water Fluoridation

  1. 1. Community Water Fluoridation Saskatchewan Oral Health Coalition Meeting October 26, 2015 Regina, Sk.
  2. 2. Facts • 70 years ago , Grand Rapids, Michigan became the world’s first city to adjust the level of fluoride in its water supply (1945) • Moose Jaw was the first Saskatchewan city to fluoridate, in 1952 • Earlier studies showed that Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) reduced tooth decay in children by 60% and in adults 35%. • Today studies prove that CWF continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by 20 – 40%. Even during the era of wide spread availability of fluoride from other sources (toothpaste, gels, varnish, mouthwash) • The Centres of Disease Control and Prevention proclaimed water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements in the 20th Century,
  3. 3. Facts • According to the Findings and Recommendations of the Fluoride Expert Panel for Health Canada – “CWF remains an effective public health method to reduce the prevalence of decay in the Canadian population” • The Canadian Public Health Agency states that fluoridation is 1 of 12 Public Health Milestones in the past 100 years. • Over 405 million people world-wide enjoy the benefits of fluoridated water. • The use of fluoride in the prevention of tooth decay continues to be endorsed by over 90 national and international professional health organizations including the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, Health Canada, the Canadian Dental Association, the Canadian Medical Association and the World Health Organization.
  4. 4. CWF in Saskatchewan • Currently the cities of Humboldt, Melfort, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Prince Albert & Weyburn account for the most significant numbers of residents in the province that have access to CWF.
  5. 5. CWF in Saskatchewan Communities with CWF: ➢ 2000 = 66 ➢ 2005 = 75 ➢ 2010 = 58
  6. 6. CWF in Saskatchewan ➢ 61 Communities have discontinued CWF since 1969 ➢ 12 Communities have discontinued CWF since 2005
  7. 7. CWF in Saskatchewan In 2010: ➢ 36% population access to CWF ➢ 33% to optimal CWF ➢ 2% access to optimal natural fluoride ➢ 36% access to optimal adjusted and natural fluoride levels
  8. 8. Sask. Community Fluoride Data • Currently all health regions are updating their fluoride levels in all communities. • Data collected in 2000, 2005, 2010 • Data updated every 5 years
  9. 9. CWF Health Regions - 2010
  10. 10. Saskatchewan / Canada Saskatchewan (2010): ➢ % with CWF = 36% Canada (2007): ➢ % with CWF = 54.9%
  11. 11. CWF in Canada (2010)
  12. 12. • The past couple of years have shown a decrease in optimal levels of fluoride being maintained in Saskatchewan communities • The 2015 CWF Data Document will be available early next year. Recent Surveillance Shows
  13. 13. • 2010 CWF Status in Saskatchewan 58 communities were fluoridating in 2010 48 communities with optimal level of CWF (.7 mg/l) in 2010 • 2013 CWF Status in Saskatchewan 36 communities are actually fluoridating in 2013 18 communities with optimal level of CWF (.7 mg/l) in 2013
  14. 14. Dental Benefits • Reduces tooth decay by 20 – 40% • Benefits children & adults • Accessible to everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, education or employment • Individuals do not have to change their behavior to benefit
  15. 15. CWF Still Needed? • Other sources of fluoride: toothpaste, mouthwash, varnish, and professional fluoride treatments • CWF is still effective today in reducing tooth decay • Vulnerable populations of all ages benefit from CWF. These populations often do not have access to dental care.
  16. 16. Safety • 0.7 mg/L of fluoride recommended by Health Canada as optimal, well below the maximum acceptable concentration of 1.5 mg/L • Mild or very mild dental fluorosis is the only established risk associated with the levels of fluoride in CWF systems if ingested during tooth development (age 0 – 8) • Health Canada’s weight of evidence from all currently available studies does not support a link with any adverse health effects.
  17. 17. Common Challenges • Fluoride is toxic: - Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral considered essential for good health* - In amounts recommended by Health Canada it is safe & effective - Toxic only at high levels (as per dosage as many other elements) - Many substances are toxic if more than the recommended amounts is taken, such as Vitamins A & D * Nutrients in Drinking Water: Water Sanitation, Health Protection and the Human Environment. World Health Organization. Geneva, 2005
  18. 18. Common Challenges • Fluoride added to water is an infringement on personal rights: - Most water contains some fluoride - Adjusting the fluoride level of drinking water to bring it to a level that will reduce tooth decay is a public health measure based on “public good” versus “individual right”. - Benefit outweighs the risk (mild or very mild fluorosis) - Other examples where additions are made for the public good are the addition of B vitamins to flour, Vitamin D to milk, and iodine to salt
  19. 19. Fluoride Removal Can Fluoride be Removed from Water? Yes! The 2 methods that remove the fluoride are: 1. Reverse Osmosis 2. Distillation
  20. 20. Conclusion For almost 70 years community water fluoridation has assisted communities improve oral health. It seems natural that in its quest to improve the oral health of our communities that we continue to support water fluoridation in Saskatchewan.