Fluoridation of water systems has been proven to be the most cost effective way to reduce dental cavities. The Center for Disease Control lists water fluoridation as one of the 10 greatest health improvements in the last 50 years.
Several communities in Alaska have fluoridated water. Other communities should be encouraged to integrate water fluoridation into their community systems. For those communities that do not have water fluoridation and for those individuals who do not have access to fluoridated water a state program should be instituted to provide fluoride supplementation to ensure that they can benefit from the cavity prevention benefits of fluoridated water.
Communities should be encouraged to begin fluoridating their water systems. HCR5 from the 24th legislature should be reintroduced and passed.
Communities without fluoridated water systems would benefit from a fluoride supplementation program. A state run program distributing fluoride tablets in public schools would help reduce the rate of dental caries. Topical fluoride rinses and gels are not as effective as fluoride incorporated into developing teeth. Ideally the program would cover grades K-6. A second program to cover children aged 1 to school age could be administered through dental and medical offices, pharmacies and village health centers.