Area dentists are celebrating the return of fluoride to Pinellas County’s drinking water after a nearly one-year hiatus. They say fluoride is crucial to the prevention of cavities in children.
Water fluoridation begins Friday, March 1, for Pinellas County water customers as well as customers of Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor and Tarpon Springs.
The level of fluoride will be adjusted to 0.7 parts per million - a level recommended for optimal dental health.
Pinellas County County Commissioners approved the return of fluoride Nov. 27, 2012 as a way to significantly reduce the occurrences of tooth decay. Water fluoridation is listed by the Center for Disease Control and the Surgeon General as one of the top ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that “if you live in an area with fluoridated water, fluoride supplements are not recommended.” Any questions should be directed to your health care provider.
The equipment for fluoridating Pinellas County’s water supply is already in place. The annual cost for chemicals, equipment, maintenance and repair will be absorbed into current operating costs - an average of 25 cents per person per year - and will not require a water rate increase.