State Health Officials: Ad Not Beginning Of Fluoridation Campaign


RENO, NV - A TV commercial running on local stations makes the case for water fluoridation as a prime means of preventing tooth decay, likening adding fluoride to drinking water to adding vitamin D.

But it's playing to an audience here in northern Nevada which either has only naturally occurring fluoride in its drinking water or, in the case of the Truckee Meadows has none by law.

Voters here have twice said no to fluoride. A bill which would have mandated it failed in the 2009 legislature.

Until something changes on the legal front, this message is being sent to people who don't have fluoride in their water and won't have it until they demand it.

So we ask, is this the opening shot in another attempt to put the issue before the voters.

"If there is I'm not aware of it,' says Melanie Flores, the Oral Health Program Manager at the state Division of Public and Behavioral Health.."

Instead Flores says, this is just a public awareness campaign using money from a federal grant from the Centers for Disease Control, a grant earmarked for oral health.

"What the community decides to do with it is really in their court," says Flores. "Our job is just to educate people on the best practices according to the CDC."

And the CDC says water fluoridation is an effective means of reducing tooth decay.

Others, of course, would disagree with the CDC's conclusions.

In fact, in 2009 a hearing on that bill had to be cut short when tempers heated up.

Flores says the public awareness campaign is not designed to rekindle those passions, but if it has stirred debate even briefly, that may be a good thing.

"If you're pro-fluoridation or anti-fluoridation, the fact is you're talking about it and educating yourself."


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