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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has presented Water Fluoridation Quality Awards to 103 community water systems across Tennessee. Community water fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that is safe and effective for preventing tooth decay.
The CDC awards recognize communities that achieved excellence in community water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent level of fluoridated water throughout 2012. Tennessee was one of 32 states to have community water systems earning the awards.
 
“Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water,” said Suzanne Hayes, DDS, director of the Tennessee Department of Health Oral Health Services. “By adjusting the amount of fluoride in its water supply system, a community can help residents of all ages prevent tooth decay and have improved oral health. Research shows every $1 invested in fluoridation saves at least $38 in costs for future dental treatment.”
 
“We know preventing tooth decay has many important dividends, including helping more people keep their natural teeth and avoiding more costly restorative dental care later in life,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “Having healthy teeth also heightens self-esteem, affects social interactions, impacts learning success and even enhances the ability to get a job.”  
 
Community water fluoridation has been recognized by the CDC as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century. Nearly 73.9 percent, or 204 million people in the U.S., are now served by community water systems with optimally fluoridated tap water. CDC research also shows people in communities with fluoridated water have about 25 percent fewer cavities over their lifetime.
 
“Adjusting the amount of fluoride in water is the equivalent of food producers adding iodine to salt, folic acid to bread and vitamin D to milk,” Dreyzehner said. “Generations of adults and children otherwise may not have had access to the important benefits from these silent health protections.”  
 
Currently more than nine out of ten Tennesseans on community water systems have access to optimally fluoridated water. The first community water system in Tennessee to adjust its fluoride level was Milan, more than 62 years ago. Tennessee community water systems earning the CDC awards for 2012 include:

Second South Cheatham Utility District                                   Humboldt Utilities - Water Department
Alcoa Water System                                                                        Huntsville Utility District
Anderson County Water Authority                                           Jackson Water System
Arthur-Shawanee Utility  District                                                Jamestown Water Department
Athens Utilities Board                                                                     Jellico Water Department
Atwood Water System                                                                   Johnson City Water Department
Bedford County Utility District                                                     Kingston Water System
Big Creek Utility District                                                                  Knoxville Utilities Board
Bloomingdale Utility District                                                         La Vergne Water System
Bon Aqua-Lyles Utility District                                                      Lafollette Utilities Board
Bradford Water System                                                                 Lexington Water Systems
Brownsville Water Department                                                  Livingston Water Department
Bruceton Water System                                                                 Loudon Utilities Board
Byrdstown Water Department                                                   Metro Lynchburg/Moore County
Caryville—Jacksboro Utilities                                                       Martin Water Department
Centerville Water System                                                             Maryville  Department of Water Quality Control
Clinton Utilities Board                                                                     Maury City Water Department
Columbia Power and Water System                                         Milan Water Department
Cumberland Utility District                                                            Millington Water Department
Dayton Water Department                                                           Morristown Water System
Decatur Water Department                                                         Mountain City Water Department
Decherd Water Department                                                        Murfreesboro Water Department
Duck River Utility Commission                                                     Naval Supply Activity- Midsouth
Dunlap Water System                                                                     New Johnsonville Water Department
Dyer Water Department                                                                Newbern Water Department
Dyersburg Water Department                                                    Newport Utilities Board
Eastside Utility District                                                                    Northeast Knox Utility District
Estill Springs Water Department                                                 Northwest Clay County Utility District
Fayetteville Public Utilities                                                            Oakland Water Department
Fort Campbell Water System                                                       Nashville Water Department #2 – Old Hickory
Gallatin Water Department                                                          Oneida Water and Sewer Commission
Gates Water Department                                                             Paris Board of Public Utilities
Gatlinburg Water Department                                                    Parsons Water Department
Gladeville Utility District                                                                 Pigeon Forge Water Department
Gleason Water Department                                                         Plateau Utility District
Greeneville Water & Light Commission                                   Portland  Water System
Halls Water System                                                                          Pulaski Water System
Hartsville-Trousdale County Water/Sewer                            Puryear Water System
Henderson Water Department                                                   Reelfoot Utility District
Hendersonville Utility District                                                      Ridgely Water System
Henry Water System                                                                       Ripley Water System
Hixson Utility District                                                                       Rockwood Water System
Savannah Valley Utility District                                                    Tennessee American Water Company
Sevierville Water System                                                               Trenton Water System
Somerville Water System                                                              Trezevant Water System
South Fulton Water System                                                         Trimble Water System
South Pittsburg Water System                                                    Waverly Water Department
Sparta Water System                                                                      West Knox Utilities District
Spencer Water System                                                                   White House Utility District
Suck Creek Water System                                                             Tennessee American-Sequatchie Valley
Sweetwater Utility Board                                                              Winchester Water System
Tellico Area Services System      

The American Dental Association has been a proponent of fluoridation since 1950. For more information from the ADA, visit www.ada.org/en/public-programs/advocating-for-the-public/fluoride-and-fluoridation
 
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments.  Learn more about TDH services and programs at http://health.state.tn.us/.
 
This news release can be accessed online at http://news.tn.gov/taxonomy/term/30.
 
Connect with TDH on FACEBOOK and Twitter @TNDeptofHealth!

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