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CDC launches new web site for oral health statistics; enhances web site for My Water's Fluoride.

May 27, 2015 -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new, integrated website that enables dental and public health professionals and policymakers to monitor selected oral health information. "Oral Health Data," available at www.cdc.gov/oralhealthdata, offers enhanced capabilities for viewing state and national data for indicators of oral health and fluoridation status. The new system allows individuals to view and interact with data in tables, graphs, and maps online and to export datasets.

Oral Health Data currently includes four adult indicators obtained from state Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data for 1999 and even years from 2000 through 2010; available by age, education and income level, gender, and race/ethnicity. Also available are three child indicators (years range from 1993 to 2013) provided by states that conduct statewide oral health screening surveys that meet criteria for inclusion in the National Oral Health Surveillance System; these data are provided by grade in school (kindergarten through third grade) or Head Start. In addition, the new website has data on the percent of states' population with access to community water fluoridation, obtained from biennial water fluoridation reports from 2000 through 2012. Data for additional years will be added as they become available. CDC plans to expand the system to include additional information and indicators.

"Oral Health Data gives users more tools in an easy-to-use format to create their own filtered views and graphs," stated Katherine Weno, DDS, JD, Director, CDC Division of Oral Health. "The new website will allow state health agencies to track state and national trends so they are better able to plan and evaluate state-based oral health programs."

CDC has also enhanced its web portal, "My Water's Fluoride," available at http://nccd.cdc.gov/DOH_MWF. My Water's Fluoride (MWF) allows consumers in participating states to check out basic information about their water system, including the number of people served by the system and its fluoride level. According to the U.S. Public Health Service, the recommended level for fluoride in drinking water to prevent tooth decay is 0.7 milligrams per liter.

In addition to improved consumer information, the new MWF is presented in an easy-to-view and navigate format.

Currently, 39 states are providing their data to CDC for this data portal. States that participate include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. MWF is a voluntary public disclosure website; states choose whether they will provide their water fluoridation information to MWF.

Fluoride, a naturally occurring element in the environment, is known to be effective in preventing tooth decay in children and adults. Over the past seven decades, water fluoridation has played an important role in the dramatic reduction of tooth decay and has been identified by CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

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Title Annotation:PRESS RELEASE
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Article Type:Website overview
Date:Jul 1, 2015
Words:508
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