Water fluoridation is a cost-effective public health method that helps prevent cavities. Studies have shown that an optimum concentration (between 1.0-1.2 parts per million) of fluoride in water can effectively reduce dental decay by at least 25% in children and adults. One of the first studies was not too far from Altamont, off the west bank of the Hudson River. The Newburgh-Kingston Fluoride Study in 1956 was a decade long study that examined the effects of a fluoridated water supply on the amount of dental cavities in kids.
At the time, Newburgh and Kingston both had a fluoride deficient water supply. Newburgh agreed to have its water supply supplemented with sodium fluoride while Kingston continued on with their usual water supply. Indeed, among the six to nine year old children in Newburgh, the DMF rate (decayed, missing, filled teeth) was 58% lower than that for the Kingston children. Two important outcomes have come from this study: residents living in a water fluoridated town have had fewer dental cavities and controlled water fluoridation is a safe public health practice.
This article was published on 04-07-2023 in The Altamont Enterprise.