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Dental health of 82m Americans suffering due to lack of fluoridated water
Updated: 7/11/2008 2:00:20 PM
 

The number of Americans getting fluoridated water has improved but is still not good enough, a new report has suggested.

Currently, 70 percent of Americans receive fluoride in their water supplies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey.

Although this is an improvement from 65 percent in 2000 and 62 percent in 1992, there are still 82 million people in the US who are not getting this service.

Their dental health could be suffering as a result, as fluoride is known to strengthen teeth and help prevent cavities. The organisation describes it as "one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century".

Some major cities, including San Diego and Portland, still do not fluoridate their water supplies, while states such as California, Oregon and Montana have very low levels of coverage. By contrast, in Washington DC fluoridated water reaches 100 percent of residents.

Dr Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, told Reuters: "This is one of the dirty little secrets - that the whole nation has not yet embraced fluoridation of water, which has enormous public health benefits."

The American Dental Association sounded a more positive note, welcoming the increase over the last 15 years in the number of people living in a fluoridated area.
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