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Health equity disproportionately impacts lower income communities and communities of color. Currently, about 35% of Americans don’t have access to properly fluoridated water, due to lack of money or technology to maintain these systems. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a new fluoride tablet initiative to deliver an important preventive healthcare tool to rural and smaller neighborhoods. Research has long shown that fluoridated water reduces cavities in children and adults, and the pandemic has likely enhanced America’s dental health and equity problem. Experts say, “Their hygiene practices have changed. Their dietary habits have changed. They are snacking more, snacking on sugar products more. And some unfortunately have chosen to defer going to the dentist.” On top of access to dental care, some communities also have barriers to basic messaging about good oral hygiene, like brushing twice a day. This initiative could help build healthy communities and significantly reduce dental disease.
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