Fluoride is the same ingredient found in most toothpaste and the same product dentists apply to your teeth when you get a cleaning. Recommended by pediatricians and dentists, fluoride appears naturally in many rivers, private drinking wells, and water aquifers. And it is the same substance that, when added to drinking water, is considered one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In fact, the CDC believes so strongly in water fluoridation that its goal is to achieve at least 80 percent water fluoridation of the nation's public water supply by 2020.
It has regularly studied the issue since the early 1940s, and time after time concluded that it is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay.
Today, 72 percent of Americans with access to public water drink fluoridated water at the CDC's recommended therapeutic level. Many doctors and scientific experts believe that fluoridating the public water supply is as important as receiving a vaccination.
More than 100 nationally known organizations including the American Dental Association
, the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the National Kidney Foundation, the World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society, the American Water Works Association, the National Association of City and County Health Officials, as well as the last four US Surgeons General endorse and/or recognize the benefits of water fluoridation.
With all of this overwhelming support for water fluoridation, and the fact that New Jersey is typically a leader on healthcare-related issues, one would expect New Jersey to be leading the charge on this important health care subject. Sadly, we are not.
Currently, New Jersey ranks 49th out of 50 states in its percentage of population that drinks fluoridated public water at the CDC's recommended therapeutic level of .7 part per million.