Kotlik chooses fluoridation to fight tooth decay

kotlik-sign
Residents of Kotlik celebrated the opening of their new clinic a few years ago. Soon they will be celebrating reduced tooth decay thanks to adding fluoride to their water. — Photo by YKHC file photo

The village of Kotlik voted last October to implement a community water fluoridation program. The decision was largely the result of the community education efforts of Dental Health Aide Cheryl Sinka, according to Dental Health Aide Coordinator Kelly Nance.

“Cheryl was very active in educating the members of the community for a vote in favor of water fluoridation,” Nance said.

“This will be instrumental in reducing the amount of decay we’ll see in that village,” said Nance. Studies show that children in the YK Delta have more decay than kids in the lower 48, and it is higher in villages that don’t have community fluoride programs.

For more information about the Cavities (caries) incidence rate, the article “Dental Caries in Rural Alaska Native Children—Alaska, 2008:” presents facts on the amount of decay in the region and the differences between villages with fluoride and villages without.

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