Did you know your water is protecting your teeth? Water fluoridation is the single most effective—and often overlooked—public health measure to prevent tooth decay. That’s why the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) has upgraded their water fluoridation system, thanks in part to an $89,465 grant from the Delta Dental Foundation (DDF).
“We’re thankful for the great partnership with Delta Dental and the opportunity to improve our water system,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “BWL water meets or exceeds all requirements, and this is a great opportunity to ensure this continues well into the future.”
Almost all water contains some naturally occurring fluoride; however, it’s generally not enough to help prevent tooth decay. That’s why many communities adjust the amount of fluoride in water to an optimal level that’s safe for consumption and helps keep teeth strong. In fact, more than 75 years of scientific research has shown that water fluoridation is safe and can help reduce tooth decay by 25% over a person’s lifetime.
“Water fluoridation is the most efficient and cost-effective way to deliver fluoride to everyone,” said Holli Seabury, EdD, executive director, DDF. “Drinking fluoridated tap water is the great equalizer when it comes to healthier teeth.”
Fluoride works by effectively creating a shield on the tooth’s surface that helps prevent damage from acids created by food and drink. The result is strengthened tooth enamel, which makes cavities less severe, reduces tooth loss, and lessens pain caused by tooth decay. Studies suggest that fluoridation saves about $32.19 per person per year in averted dental treatment—a 20 to 1 return on investment.
“Fluoridation has been recognized by CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the twentieth century,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Water fluoridation is a safe, effective and inexpensive method of preventing decay. It benefits all residents of a community and has demonstrated its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay throughout one’s lifetime.”
To take a virtual tour of BWL’s water treatment facility and learn more about why great water matters, click here.
The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. DDF is dedicated to developing and enhancing partnerships and programs to improve oral and overall health and health equity. For more information, visit www.deltadental.foundation.
The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) is a municipally-owned public utility that provides safe, reliable and affordable utility products and services to more than 97,000 electric and 56,000 water customers throughout the greater Lansing area.