To maintain the benefits of preventing tooth decay while preventing excessive exposure to fluoride the US dept of health and Human Services has proposed to replace the recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water to the lower number of 0.7 milligrams. Americans today have greater exposure to fluoride in dental products and have a more sedentary lifestyle with air conditioning in hot climates. When the levels were originally set in 1962 this was not the case, when there would be higher water consumption in hot climates, hence a lower fluoride concentration, The agency announced the scientific assessment last September and asked for input and put out the release on January 7th 2011.
The San Jose area is the largest metropolitan area in the country that has not yet implemented water fluoridation. The CDA Foundation and the Health Trust along with local community organizations have been working to facilitate implementation. One of the many challenges in our area is that there are multiple sources of water, including wells. Areas in the north and east of Santa Clara County actually receive fluoridated water from the San Francisco Public Utility Commission’s water treatment plant in Sunol. Dentists with patients in Alviso and the areas wrapping around the County down to the Silver Creek need not prescribe dietary fluoride supplements as that water is treated with fluoride. See the map below for an idea of fluoridation patterns in Santa Clara County. Dentists have reported that they must ask patients multiple questions to determine if the geographic area in which they live is receiving fluoridated water.
The dental Society is helping to educate all individuals in the area about the importance of getting fluoridated water. We have learned that many people think their area already is fluoridated, when it is not.
For Further Information: please visit these websites:
CDC Fluoridation Q &A:
Reprinted with permission from the Santa Clara Dental Society.