Thursday, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), Office of Oral Health, is offering public water systems the opportunity to compete for fluoridation grants to initiate, update or expand community water fluoridation.
ADPH is offering a total of $100,000 to fund the one-year grants, with the maximum allowable award being $25,000 per water system.
“In Alabama, approximately 74 percent of communities provide water fluoridation at optimal levels,” state Dental Director Dr. Tommy Johnson said. “Increasing that percentage will improve the quality of life and reduce overall health care costs for additional Alabama citizens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that for every dollar invested in community water fluoridation, up to $20 in dental care can be saved.”
The ADPH said that fluoridation has been identified as the most feasible and cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all members of a community, regardless of age, education or income.
According to the CDC, many research studies have proven the safety and benefits of fluoride. For 70 years, people in the United States have benefited from drinking water with fluoride, leading to better dental health.
The CDC estimates that drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities (also called tooth decay) by about 25 percent in children and adults. By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation saves money for both families and the US health care system.
Even though oral health in the United States is much better today than it was many years ago; cavities are still one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. The CDC says that community water fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to deliver fluoride to people of all ages, education levels, and income levels who live in a community.
The CDC says that most water has some fluoride, but usually not enough to prevent cavities. The Community water systems can add the right amount of fluoride to the local drinking water to prevent cavities.
The CDC says that community water fluoridation is recommended by nearly all public health, medical, and dental organizations. It is recommended by the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, US Public Health Service, and World Health Organization. The CDC named community water fluoridation as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
You can download a copy of the request for proposal online at:
Applications must be submitted either electronically or by U.S. mail by the close of business on Friday, September 20.
For more information, contact State Fluoridation Coordinator Summer Macias at:
Or by mail to: RSA Tower, Suite 1374D, 201 Monroe St., Montgomery, Ala. 36104.
The mission of the Alabama Department Public Health is to promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health. County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services.