Seven communities awarded state grants to create or maintain water fluoridation programs

Contact: Jennifer Smith 517-241-2112

For Immediate Release: April 9, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Seven community water systems across the state are receiving state grants to help initiate or maintain a community water fluoridation program for their residents.

Grants were awarded by the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Oral Health Program. This is the sixth year grants have been awarded, with funds coming from a donation from the Delta Dental Foundation.

“These awards demonstrate the Oral Health Program’s support of fluoridation for community water systems,” MDCH Director Nick Lyon said. “Dental health is essential to overall health and wellness, and water fluoridation benefits all residents of a community through its demonstrated effectiveness in preventing tooth decay throughout one’s lifetime.”

Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the natural fluoride concentration of a community’s water supply to a level that is best for the prevention of dental cavities. In the United States, community water fluoridation has been the basis for the primary prevention of dental cavities for many years.  Water fluoridation began in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1945, and for 70 years this preventive practice has been recognized as one of the ten great achievements in public health of the 20th century.

Michigan continues to be a leader in community water fluoridation with 90 percent of our population on community water systems having access to fluoridated drinking water.  While the majority of large community water systems do fluoridate, many systems still do not.  Some have old equipment that prohibits the continuation of an effective fluoridation program.  The Fluoridation Equipment Grant initiative allows community water systems needing new and updated fluoride equipment to apply for funding.

MDCH Oral Health Program awarded the following seven community water systems funding for new fluoridation equipment, with grants totaling more than $48,000:

  • City of Albion – $6,356
  • City of Bangor – $17,678
  • City of Dowagiac – $2,729
  • City of East Jordan – $5,000
  • City of Gladstone – $5,375
  • City of Otsego – $6,687
  • Village of Quincy – $6,942

The community water systems went through a competitive review process and were chosen based on top scores achieved for application criteria.  The seven chosen were scored on need, population size, evidence of fluoridation approval from their community, and inclusion of all requested information.  Between April 1, 2015 and September 15, 2015, the water systems can purchase the requested fluoridation equipment and have the equipment installed and operational within six months.

The Michigan Oral Health Coalition Annual Conference in June 2015 will honor and recognize these grantees at a luncheon during the conference with a celebration of the 70th anniversary of community water fluoridation.

For more information about community water fluoridation and the Fluoridation Equipment Grants please visit: www.michigan.gov/oralhealth.

###