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Cutting The Cost Of Dental Care

By Jacob Owens

The fluoridation of water supplies throughout United States could reduce the cost of dental health bills by as much as $100 million a year, according to the American dental association. This may actually take place soon. The Department of Health & Welfare is on the move with a campaign to help fluoridate about 438 community water systems and 100 school water systems that still have yet to experience the benefits of fluoridation More would be added to the 6,800 communities, which is about 46% of the population, because of this.

A survey showed that, despite its widespread practice, water fluoridation and its uses are unknown to 76 million adults, which is about 51% of the country’s population. It is the belief of about 43 million adults that the purpose of fluoridation is to purify water for drinking or to lessen pollution. About 45 million served by public water systems are not certain whether the water they are drinking contains fluoride or not.

This new government program will reinforce education for the public in order to make them aware of how useful fluoridation is as a preventive measure. Knowing how to repair teeth affected by decay has been around for a while, but knowing how to prevent it is knowledge that has just come out recently. Those who drink sodium fluoride as children can lessen their chances of getting tooth decay even when they are already adults, thus lessening the possibility of getting cavities or needing any expensive dental repair procedures.

No other single health measure in history has been the target of more critical analysis than fluoridating city water supplies. Research and experience in the community for more than three decades have shown how beneficial and safe fluoridation is. The possibility of children getting tooth decay may be reduced by about two thirds if they drink fluoridated water from the time they are born. Many children can experience freedom from tooth decay. Lifetime benefits derived from drinking fluoridated water and the cost of children’s dental health care can be cut in half.

Teens and adults are actually encountering benefits as well. Fluoridated communities are said to produce more cavity free teenagers than non fluoridated communities. Searching for economies is what the government is currently acting on as it endorses fluoridation as a preventive health measure. Communities that may not have enough to fluoridate by themselves may see the government support as a blessing to their situation.

95% of all children are affected by dental diseases, leading to an estimation of $2 billion in treatment costs each year. Government officials regard fluoridation as the highest payoff of any preventive health measure other than polio immunization. To be specific, an average annual investment of just 25 cents per person can reduce the cost of restoring the permanent teeth of a community’s children through age 16 by $12 per child. An annual amount of less $200,000 was spent by the Public Health Service in promoting fluoridation between 1971 and the new government drive started last fall.

It is ironic that in the same amount of time, there was also an annual expense of $9 for support of other researches to minimize dental cavities. Among tested alternatives was fluoridating milk and bread. However, fluoridating milk was found out to be impractical and too costly considering that the expense of milk fluoridation would amount to more than $2 a year for each child as opposed to just 25 cents for water fluoridation. Also benefits would be denied to children who do not drink milk or suffer lactose intolerance or milk allergies. Fluoridation, good nutrition, and proper hygiene are the keys to improvement in dental health.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Owens, Jacob "Cutting The Cost Of Dental Care." Cutting The Cost Of Dental Care. 5 Jul. 2010. 14 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Owens, J (2010, July 5). Cutting The Cost Of Dental Care. Retrieved September 14, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Owens, Jacob "Cutting The Cost Of Dental Care"

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