LANSING – The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Oral Health Program has selected 11 communities across the state to initiate and maintain a community water fluoridation program for their residents. This is the third year these Fluoridation Equipment Grants have been awarded. This year they were made possible by $100,000 donation from the Delta Dental Foundation.
“Water fluoridation has demonstrated its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay and more importantly, studies have shown that oral health is key to overall health,” said Christine Farrell, Manager of the Oral Health Unit at MDCH. “These grants are a wonderful way to benefit the wellness of an entire community. We are so grateful for Delta Dental Foundation’s support of oral and overall health and wellness for Michiganders.”
About 90 percent of communities with a water system in Michigan have access to fluoridated water. However, some water systems in the state have old equipment that prohibits an effective fluoridation program. The Fluoridation Equipment Grant program allows community water systems needing new and updated fluoride equipment to apply for funding.
The 2012 community winners and their total funds awarded for new fluoridation equipment are:
- City of Cedar Springs – $1,287
- City of Norway – $2,378
- Village of Schoolcraft – $3,499
- Village of Milford – $4,999
- City of Wayland – $7,150
- East Lansing-Meridian – $8,655
- Holland Board of Public Works – $10,335
- City of Charlotte – $11,324
- City of Midland – $12,700
- City of Grand Haven – $15,806
- City of St. Joseph – $24,000
Communities applied for the grants and went through a competitive review process. Awardees were chosen in May based on need, population size, and evidence of fluoridation approval in the community. Between May 1 and Sept. 30, the funds will be used to purchase the fluoridation equipment and have it installed and operational within six months. Community water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the natural fluoride concentration of a water supply to a level that is best for the prevention of dental cavities. Nationally, community water fluoridation has been the basis for the primary prevention of dental cavities for years and has been recognized as one of the 10 great achievements in public health of the 20th century.
For more information about community water fluoridation and the Fluoridation Equipment Grants, visit www.michigan.gov/oralhealth.
Source: News release from Michigan Department of Community Health