Statement by Sandra G. Hassink, MD, FAAP, president, American Academy of Pediatrics
"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in its final recommendation for the optimal fluoride level in drinking water to prevent tooth decay.
"Water fluoridation continues to be one of the most important tools in our toolbox to prevent tooth decay in children and adults. Hundreds of studies have affirmed community water fluoridation as a safe, equitable, and cost-effective way to protect the oral health of the population. As such, the AAP agrees that the recommended 0.7 milligrams per liter provides enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay in children and adults while limiting the possibility for children to develop dental fluorosis—a mild change in the appearance of the tooth's enamel. Children and adults should be encouraged to take advantage of the availability of fluoridated water by drinking tap water and using it to prepare meals. This, in conjunction with a healthy diet, preventive oral health care, and good oral hygiene will help families to enjoy good oral health without the pain and expense of tooth decay.
"Today's final recommendation reaffirms the important role of community water fluoridation as one of many sources of fluoride available to American families today. Parents are encouraged to discuss all fluoride use (water consumption, supplements, toothpaste, and professionally applied topical fluoride) with their dentist or pediatrician to ensure their children are getting the optimal amount to protect their teeth. We ask that parents, health professionals, and others visit the Campaign for Dental Health Web site – ilikemyteeth.org for more information about the benefits of community water fluoridation."
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org