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Multnomah County commissioners endorse city of Portland’s plan to fluoridate water supply
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 4:40 PM Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 6:06 PM
The five board members, in a letter to Mayor Sam Adams and the city’s commissioners, wrote that fluoridated community water supplies significantly reduce cavity rates in both children and adults.
"Childhood dental decay requires a lifetime of treatments," according to the two-page letter. "A single childhood cavity can cost more than $2,000 over time."
They noted that Multnomah County, "as the state’s largest safety net dental care provider," treated more than 22,000 people last year who are on the Oregon Health Plan or who lack any type of dental insurance. In 62,000 visits last year, they said, county dental providers placed more than 16,000 fillings and extracted more than 6,000 teeth.
"Community water fluoridation is a safe, effective, and affordable way to prevent tooth decay and reduce health care costs among all community members, young and old," they wrote. "We encourage you to proceed with your proposal to fluoridate Portland’s drinking water."
The issue has generated controversy since the Portland proposal surfaced earlier this month. Portland commissioners are scheduled to vote on the proposal Sept. 12. A presumed yes vote means the ordinance would take effect 30 days later.
Critics of the plan are launching a competing effort that would ask voters in 2014 to ban fluoride from local drinking water
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