Friday, October 02, 2015

Fluoridation Fails American Indians

Oregon Looks North for Lessons about Expanding Dental Access to Reservation Communities

Native Americans have the highest rates of oral diseases in the United States. A report published in April by the Indian Health Service said that more than half of American Indians and Alaska Natives between the ages of one and five have experienced tooth decay; a rate that is more than four times higher than white non-Hispanic children.
“This disparity exists in spite of the implementation of dental decay prevention programs by IHS and Tribes, including fluoridation of community water systems, the use of topical fluorides and dental sealants, and oral health educational programs for children and parents,” according to the IHS Data Service brief by Kathy R. Phipps, Dr. P.H. and Timothy L. Ricks, D.M.D., M.P.H.
One of their key findings is that American Indian and Alaska Native preschool children do not receive enough dental care.