DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Public Health has announced that 108 water systems in Iowa have been awarded Water Fluoridation Quality Awards from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Mahaska Rural Water System, Oskaloosa, Pella and Eddyville water systems received the award.

In addition, five communities (Forest City Water Supply, Glidden Water Supply, Manilla Municipal Service Department, Osage Municipal Water Supply and Paullina Municipal Water Supply) have been awarded the 50 Year Award for maintaining continuous community water fluoridation from 1969-2019. For 2019, a total of 1,523 public water systems in 29 states received these awards.

Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that is effective for preventing tooth decay. The award recognizes those communities that achieved excellence in community water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent level of fluoride in drinking water throughout 2019.

“Iowa water operators have a big impact on the oral health of their community by adjusting the fluoride of their water system to the optimal level for preventing cavities,” said Dr. Bob Russell, DDS, Dental Director, Iowa Department of Public Health.

“Water fluoridation is one of the best investments that a community can make in maintaining the oral health of its citizens. It is equally as effective in preventing cavities in children and adults,” said Casey Hannan, MPH, Director, CDC Division of Oral Health. “Fluoridation is also highly cost effective. Studies continue to show that for every $1 a community invests in water fluoridation, $20 are saved in dental treatment costs.”

Community water fluoridation has been recognized by CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century. CDC recommends water fluoridation as one of the most practical, cost-effective, equitable and safe measures a community can take to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health.

It is supported by the American Cancer Society, American Dental Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Water Works Association and over 100 national and international organizations as a safe, effective and inexpensive method of preventing tooth decay. Both Healthy People 2030 and Healthy Iowans 2021 have set goals to increase the number of people receiving optimally fluoridated water.

IDPH supports CDC approved fluoridation programs. The IDPH Bureau of Oral and Health Delivery Systems monitors the fluoride levels of Iowa communities and provides information and assistance to water supply professionals, healthcare professionals and the public. To see the fluoridation status of Iowa counties and towns, visit the My Water’s Fluoride website at https://nccd.cdc.gov/DOH_MWF.

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