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Dental health can benefit earning potential
Updated: 11/7/2008 2:00:34 PM

Dental health can benefit earning potential Having healthy teeth is not only good for aesthetic and dental health purposes, but it can affect your earning potential, according to a new study.

The study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that dental health and more specifically fluoridation increased the earnings of women, with those who grew up in fluoridated communities earning 4 percent more than women who did not.

It is also noted that a typical urban women earning $11 per hour would see a $720 drop in yearly earnings after losing just one tooth. However, men did not seem to have such a drop.

The paper also notes that a 1986-7 government survey found that black children were 18 percent more likely to have untreated tooth decay and at least one missing tooth than white children.

Fluoridation in drinking water began in 1945 in the U.S. as a way to prevent dental health problems such as tooth decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 percent of the country's community water is currently fluoridated with the goal of reaching 75 percent by 2010.

The CDC also called fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century.
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