Manila Waterworks receives recognition

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Dr. Bruce Wilson (left) presents 2006 Water Fluoridation Quality Award to Henry Ford, Manila water superintendent, and Manila Mayor Clifford Veach. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Town Crier News Staff

Bruce T. Wilson, DDS, presented the city of Manila with a 2006 Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the Arkansas Department of Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in the water to a level optimal for preventing tooth decay. The award recognizes communities that have maintained a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water for the calendar year.

On hand to receive the award were Manila Water Superintendent Henry Ford and Manila Mayor Clifford Veach.

Mayor Veach said Manila has been using fluoridated water since the late 1980s or early 1990s.

"I received a call from Dr. Fred Wagner in Blytheville explaining the benefits of fluoridation," Veach said.

Veach did the research and it has been part of the Manila Water system since.

Dr. Wilson opened his dentistry office in Manila 11 years ago.

"A lot of towns do not have fluoridation," Wilson said. "It is a little more work but it is well worth it. We tip our hat to Manila for their efforts in the maintenance. It is a good service and citizens can rest assured it is done right by the Manila Water department."

"We are proud we can provide this service to the citizens of Manila," Veach said.

Ford thanked Dr. Wilson for the recognition.

Community water fluoridation has been recognized by CDC as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. CDC recommends water fluoridation as a safe, effective and inexpensive method of preventing tooth decay. Studies continue to show fluoridation prevents tooth decay among all age groups, not just children.

"We know water fluoridation benefits everyone in a community -- people of every age, every racial and ethnic group and every economic level," said Dr. Lynn Mouden, DDS, MPH, director of the Office of Oral Health in the Arkansas Department of Health. "Studies in Arkansas show tooth decay is reduced by 50 percent in fluoridated communities. A lifetime of fluoridation costs less than one dental filling."

In 2001, the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommended communities either adopt or maintain fluoridation of public drinking water supplies. More than 170 million people, or 67 percent of the United States population served by public water systems, currently enjoy the benefits of optimum water fluoridation to prevent tooth decay.

"Fluoridating a community's water is one of the most effective public health prevention measures we can take to prevent tooth decay," Dr. William R. Maas, DDS, MPH, director of the CDC Division of oral health, said. "It is also the most equitable -- reaching all members of a community, regardless of their income."

He also noted it is cost-effective, saving approximately $38 in dental treatment for every dollar invested in water fluoridation.

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