In response to the Interim Joint Committee on State Government hearing testimony on community water fluoridation, KOHC is partnering with Delta Dental of Kentucky, the Kentucky Dental Association, the Kentucky Dental Hygiene Association, the Kentucky Primary Care Association, and the Louisville Water Company in support of maintaining community water fluoridation in Kentucky. View our statement below.
As a collective group of concerned healthcare providers, business leaders, active community members, and oral health advocates, we write you today regarding discussion of water fluoridation programs. For over 70 years, public water providers have had a direct connection to improving the oral health of Kentucky children and adults through fluoridation of the public drinking water supply. This regulation has been a safe, reliable, cost-effective preventive measure to keep teeth strong and reduce cavities by at least 25%. With our unifying interest to improve the oral health for all people in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, we are deeply concerned about any efforts to remove water fluoridation programs in our communities.
Fluoride benefits children and adults across income levels and throughout their lifespan. Additionally, as a state with growing budget deficits, an analysis of Medicaid claims in three states found that children living in fluoridated communities had lower treatment costs related to tooth decay than did similar children living in non-fluoridated communities. Fluoridation not only saves money, but it allows children and adults to learn and work pain-free.
Despite our historic issues with poor oral health in Kentucky, we have made strides towards improvement in oral health by leading the nation with 99% of Kentucky communities with water fluoridation programs. We as a Commonwealth cannot afford to move backward. We strongly urge you to support continued community water fluoridation in the interest of oral health in the Commonwealth of Kentucky!