Jessica Mathews /

Some local communities are again being recognized for optimal fluoridation in their public water supplies.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recognizing 69 public water systems that won a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among the local water systems that were recognized were those for the cities of Fenton, Howell, Linden and Milford. The award recognizes communities that maintained a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water throughout 2021.

A total of 1,394 water systems in 28 states received the award.

Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in the water to a level that is deemed optimal for preventing tooth decay. According to the CDC, fluoridation of water has been recognized as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century. It is estimated that every dollar invested in fluoridation saves at least $38 in costs for dental treatment.

While there have been concerns raised over the years about the necessity of fluoridation, officials say the scientific consensus remains that it is safe and beneficial.