Niles receives water quality award

The Michigan Department of Community Health announced this week that the City of Niles has been awarded a 2014 Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that is effective for preventing tooth decay.

The award recognizes communities that achieved excellence in community water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water throughout 2014.

A total of 2,282 public water systems in 33 states received these awards, including 78 in Michigan.

“As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of community water fluoridation, CDC and groups such as the Community Preventive Services Task Force continue to reaffirm our commitment to water fluoridation as one of the most effective steps a community can take to prevent tooth decay and promote oral health,” said Dr. Katherine Weno, director of the CDC Division of Oral Health. “Studies continue to show that water fluoridation prevents about 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults.”

Community water fluoridation has been recognized by the CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century. Currently, nearly three-quarters (74.6 percent) — or 210 million people — served by community water systems have access to optimally fluoridated tap water.

CDC recommends water fluoridation as a safe, effective, and inexpensive method of preventing decay. In fact, every $1 invested in fluoridation saves at least $38 in costs for dental treatment, according to the CDC.

“Water fluoridation is one of the most effective means we have for preventing and controlling tooth decay throughout a person’s life,” said Dr. Eden Wells, dhief medical executive with the MDHHS. “In fact, our latest studies show that even in an environment where people have access to multiple sources of fluoride, such as fluoride toothpaste and professional dental treatments, fluoridation continues to prevent at least 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults.”

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