199146 Grant-funding the prevention of childhood tooth decay through community water fluoridation: Challenges and opportunities

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Conrado E. Barzaga, MD , Planning and Development, First 5 LA, Los Angeles, CA
Lucy Lin, JD , Planning and Development, First 5 LA, Los Angeles, CA
Tina Chinakarn, MPH , Grants Management, First 5 LA, Los Angeles, CA
Dental caries is the most common chronic disease of childhood, occurring up to eight times more frequently than asthma. Untreated, it can result in serious infections in parts of the body.

First 5 LA is a unique funder and child-advocacy organization created by California voters to invest tobacco tax revenues in programs for improving the lives of children in Los Angeles County, from prenatal through age 5. First 5 LA approved a $20 million Oral Health Community Development (OHCD) Project in 2007 as an additional step in its ongoing efforts to improve the quality of oral health of children in Los Angeles County. The program provides funding for fluoridation infrastructure to eligible water agencies that elect to bring their water to optimal levels of fluoride for increased dental health.

For over five decades, the fluoridation of community water supplies and the use of fluoride-containing products as safe and effective measures for preventing tooth decay have been endorsed by the scientific community worldwide.

Despite its recognition as an effective measure for preventing tooth decay, and the availability of grants to fund the development of infrastructure, water fluoridation remains a political challenge for water systems.

This presentation will discuss the history and value of the fluoridation of community water supplies, its linkages to childhood caries, and will discuss different strategies utilized by funders to overcome the barriers to water fluoridation.

Learning Objectives:
Describe and explain the political challenges faced by agencies that grant-fund efforts to develop water fluoridation infrastructure Discuss effective strategies utilized by funders to fluoridate community water systems

Keywords: Early Childhood Caries, Water

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for the implementation and funds distribution for the community water fluoridation efforts of First 5 LA
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.