Email to Policy Maker Dear (Name of Policy Maker), Body of letter will contain the content message that goes along with the ecard along with specific messages targeting that particular policy maker. For example, the details of water fluoridation levels in his district and the % of his constituents that are in favor of community water fluoridation.
Inside content: The CDC recommends an optimal level of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water. Community water fluoridation is a safe way to protect teeth. The effect of fluoridation on decayed, missing, or filled teeth benefits the entire population and justifies the population health intervention. (McLaren & Emory 2012)
Inside content: Nationwide, about 210 million Americans have access to fluoridated public water systems and about 100 million Americans do not have access. Alaska ranks 41/50 states with only 51.9% of the population having access to community water fluoridation. Many communities in Alaska are under the optimal level of fluoride recommendation of 0.7 milligrams per liter of water. Findings and recommendations support water fluoridation as an effective and efficient means of providing population level preventative oral health. (Kargul, Caglar & Tanboga 2003)
Inside content: Water fluoridation prevents tooth decay by providing teeth with frequent contact with low levels of fluoride throughout each day and throughout life http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/ Water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by about 25% over a persons lifetime. Community water fluoridation benefits all people regardless of age, income, education, or socioeconomic status. The percent of caries reductions between case groups which included fluoridated water and control groups was substantial. (Rugg-Gunn & Do 2012)
Inside content: Tooth decay affects children in the US more than any other chronic infectious disease. Untreated tooth decay causes pain and infections that can lead to problems such as eating, speaking, playing, and learning. Oral diseases are preventable and one way to have a large impact on many people is a community water fluoridation program. South African decision makers have long debated the implementation of artificial water fluoridation. The debate began in the 1960s and has not yet been resolved despite decades of research and numerous evidence based and official recommendations to fluoridate. (Kroon & VanWyK 2012)
Inside content: Community water fluoridation is cost-saving and the least expensive way to deliver the health benefits of fluoride to all residents Other fluoride sources include toothpaste, mouth rinses, professionally applied fluoride treatments, and prescription supplements but these are much more expensive and require a conscious decision to use them For communities over 20,000 people, it costs $0.50 per person to fluoridate water Fluoridated drinking water has a marginal cost and provides for a positive social welfare of a healthy and educated population due to the decreased incidence of dental caries. (Mendoza 2009)
Inside content: Tooth decay is caused by certain bacteria in the mouth; the bacteria can produce acid that removes minerals from the surface of the tooth. Fluoride helps to re-mineralize tooth surfaces and prevent cavities from continuing to form. Over 40% of poor adults have at least one untreated decayed tooth. In Brazil there was a lower prevalence of cavities in the community with water fluoridation compared to the community without water fluoridation. (Dini, Holt & Bedi 2000)
Inside content: Fluorides protection against tooth decay works at all ages. The CDC recommends drinking fluoridated water and using a fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay. The fluoride in water prevents tooth decay by providing teeth with frequent contact of low levels of fluoride throughout each day. Water fluoridation is associated with an increased proportion of children without caries and a reduction in the number of teeth affected by caries. (Mcdonagh et al. 2000)
Inside content: Tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of US children aged 2-5 and half of those aged 12-15. Tooth decay is a chronic condition that becomes more prevalent with age. The optimal fluoride level in the public water supply is a vital prevention effort at the population level. Armfield and colleagues found less dental decay in older children who had the greatest exposure to fluoridated water while still consuming sugary beverages. (Armfield, Spencer, Roberts-Thomson, & Plastow 2013)
Inside content: Every $1 invested in community water fluoridation yields about $38 in savings in dental treatment costs. If the public water supply is fluoridated, all residents gain the protective benefit just by drinking tap water and consuming foods and beverages prepared by it. A persons income and ability to get routine care are no longer barriers. Fluoridation of drinking water entails little or no additional cost to provide to more than one consumer, and it has social benefits derived from increased oral health. (Mendoza 2009)
Inside content: Nearly one-third of all adults in the US have untreated tooth decay. The baby boomer generation will be the first where the majority will maintain their natural teeth over their entire lifetime because of the benefits of water fluoridation and fluoride toothpaste. Healthy People 2020 calls for 80% of the population to be protected by optimally fluoridated water. Water fluoridation was associated with better oral health across income and education categories. (Mclaren & Emery 2012)
Sources Armfield, J. M., Spencer, J., Roberts-Thomson, K. F., Plastow, K. (2013). Water fluoridation and the association of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and dental caries in australian children. American Journal of Public Health, 3(103), 494-500. Dini, E. L., Holt, R. D., and Bedi, R. (2000). Prevalence of caries and developmental defects of enamel in 9-10 year old children living in areas in Brazil with differing water fluoride histories. British Dental Journal 188(3): 146-149. Kargul, B., Caglar, E., & Tanboga, I. (2003). History of water fluoridation. The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry (27), 213-218. Kroon, J., VanWyk, P. J., (2012). A retrospective view on the viability of water fluoridation in South Africa to prevent dental caries. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 5(40), 441-450. McDonagh, M. S., Whiting, P. F., Wilson, P. M., Sutton, A. J., Chestnutt, J. C., Misso, K., Bradley, M., Treasure, E., Kleijnen, J. (2000). Systematic review of water fluoridation. British Medical Journal, 321, 855-859. McLaren, L., & Emery, J. C. H. (2012). Drinking water fluoridation and oral health inequities in Canadian children. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 103(1), 549-556. Mendoza, R. L. (2009). Promoting social welfare through oral health: New Jersey's fluoridation experience. Social Work in Public Health, 24(6), 584-599. Rugg-Gunn, A. J., & Do, L. (2012). Effectiveness of water fluoridation in caries prevention. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol, 40 (2), 55-64.