Fluoride for Texas
Promoting Community Water Fluoridation
The Texas Oral Health Coalition unequivocally supports community water fluoridation in the fight against dental decay for adults and children living in the state of Texas. Community water fluoridation is the adjustment of the existing fluoride levels in the public drinking water systems to a level that reduces tooth decay. Scientific evidence compiled over more than seven decades demonstrates that fluoridation is a safe, cost-effective, and equitable intervention that benefits everyone in a given community regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. The tremendous success of fluoridation led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to declare it one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
Texas has fallen from 79.6% of its population with access to community water fluoridation (CWF) in 2012 to 73% in 2016. TxOHC is working diligently with the Texas Fluoridation Program (TFP) after finding many communities have discontinued fluoridation without notifying the City Council or Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The coordination of letter writing campaigns and contacting local health advocates with requests to contact their policy makers remains constant and ongoing.
In light of this new data and decreased number of communities with water fluoridation, the Texas Oral Health Coalition promotes and supports the Healthy Smiles Issue Brief that would amend the Texas Health & Safety Code to ensure that local residents, parents and health professionals have ample time to share their views or concerns before their community makes a final decision about water fluoridation. This promotes transparency and democracy within local communities.
Health Provider Members
- Volunteer to be community CWF member spokesperson, T/TA will be provided for spokespersons
- Hang CWF posters in waiting or exam rooms
- Discuss fluoridation with patients
- Volunteer to engage community policymakers
- Sign on to a community water fluoridation support letter
- Active Community Campaigns
- Support and promote the Healthy Smiles Issue Brief
Legislator/ Policy Maker
- Author or sponsor Healthy Smiles Bill to promote transparency and democracy within local communities
- The Healthy Smiles Bill would require that the local elected body:
- provides at least a 90-day advance notice before taking a final vote on the matter
- identifies by name the organizations, physicians, dentists or other health professionals with which it has consulted in reaching its decision, and
- identifies alternatives to fluoridation, if any, that will be made available in the community if fluoridation is ended
- Local policymakers support CWF for your community