This old adage has some truth. While you can’t see it or taste it, there are many benefits of drinking fluoridated water. February is National Children’s Dental Health month. Parents looking to make an impact on their child’s oral health, which ultimately impacts overall health, can make one simple change. Next time you fill your child’s sippy cup, don’t reach for the juice container, but rather the good old-fashioned kitchen sink. Over 91 percent of Wisconsin’s community water is fluoridated, providing you and your child with one of the top ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.

Not only is drinking fluoridated water a healthier alternative to sugary juice, but the preventive properties of fluoride strengthen both your child’s primary and adult teeth. If left untreated dental disease can have a profound impact on your child’s life. Think for a minute how difficult it might be to sit in class all day with a toothache. In some cases, dental disease has caused other systemic infections leading to death.

There is a lot of inaccurate information about the dangers of drinking fluoridated water and parents should know the truth. Pew Center on the States has developed a useful resource to help the public better understand the benefits, and more importantly the safety, of fluoride. Fluoridated water is often called the most cost-effective way of protecting oral health, but in order for it to work, we have to drink it.

Parents, do your child a favor and fill those sippy cups with water.

~ Matt Crespin, MPH, RDH, associate director, former oral health project manager, Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin

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