The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced that 13 water systems, including Tenkiller, have been awarded a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the year 2018.

Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that is effective for preventing tooth decay. The award recognizes those communities which achieved excellence in community water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent optimal level of fluoride in drinking water throughout 2018.

During 2018, a total of 1,656 public water systems in 30 states received these awards, including the 13 in Oklahoma.

“The Oklahoma State Department of Health supports community water fluoridation and recognizes the practice as beneficial to all who drink and use the water,” said Dr. Jana Winfree, director of the OSDH Dental Health Service. “Preventive dental care programs, such as community water fluoridation, make a real difference in improving the health of Oklahomans.”

Community water fluoridation has been recognized by CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

“Water fluoridation is one of the best investments that a community can make in maintaining the oral health of its citizens. It is equally as effective in preventing cavities in children and adults,” said Casey Hannan, acting director of the CDC Division of Oral Health. “Fluoridation is also highly cost effective. Studies continue to show that for every $1 a community invests in water fluoridation, $20 are saved in dental treatment costs.”

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