By Jon King /

Local communities have received national fluoridation quality awards for their water systems for demonstrating continued commitment to quality.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recognizing 71 Michigan public water systems who 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 as well as the Marion, Howell, Oceola and Genoa, or MHOG, Water Authority. The award recognizes those communities that maintained a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water throughout 2019. A total of 1,523 water systems in 29 states received the award.

Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in the water to a level that is optimal for preventing tooth decay. According to the CDC, fluoridating water reduces cavities by about 25% in children and adults and 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 in recent years about the necessity of fluoridation, the scientific consensus remains that it is safe and beneficial.