By Dr. Johnny Johnson, American Fluoridation Society President
Quick! Answer the following questions within 30 seconds:
1. The patient in your chair goes into cardiac arrest. What is the first phone call you make?
2. What is the concentration of your preferred local anesthetic?
3. Is your community water fluoridated?
4. What is the recommended level of fluoride for community water fluoridation (CWF)?
I bet that the first two questions took you a split second to answer. The third question may have been just as quick. The fourth? Maybe quick, maybe not.
How can you be 100 percent sure that you are correct in your answers? Well, the Florida Dental Association (FDA) would like to introduce you to our new and outstanding fluoridation website: www.floridafluoridation.org!
As dentists, we are expected to be the experts in water fluoridation — and we should be. The proper level of fluoride in drinking water is critical in knocking out at least 25 percent of cavities that adults and children will ever get. It also reduces the severity of those cavities.
The FDA’s fluoridation website is the best website that I have seen anywhere in the U.S. — or in the world for that matter! I know because I have worked with many of you in protecting, restarting and/or initiating CWF in your communities. And we have been an awesome force in ensuring that all of our residents — rich or poor, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, level of education or access to dental care — continue to receive this safe and effective public health benefit.
There are many great resources for information on CWF. However, when it comes to concise information that is user-friendly and state-based, the FDA’s website is primo! The information is easy to find, concise and presented for both professionals and the public to use.
I challenge you to do these three things:
1. Immediately — right now! — find out what the fluoride level is in your community’s water.1,2,3,4
2. Pull up the FDA’s water fluoridation website.
3. Hang up a poster on CWF in your office — please!
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. CWF is the best bang for the buck for everyone in our state to benefit from the cavity reductions without a single behavioral change.
If you have any questions, challenges or needs, the FDA and I are here to help you. No question is dumb; the only dumb question is the one not asked. We are here to serve you. Call on us. Thank you for fighting the GREAT fight.
Dr. Johnson is a pediatric dentist in Palm Harbor, Fla. and the president of the American Fluoridation Society. He can be reached at email@example.com.