California State public health officials sought promote “optimal” fluoridation of public water supplies through the formation of the California Fluoridation Task Force (CFTF). The CFTF is comprised of the California Dental Association, The California Department of Health Services, the Dental Health Foundation, Delta Dental Plan of California, The Northern and Southern components of the Public Health Association, and the California Association of Dental Hygienists. Community water fluoridation has shown to reduce dental decay rates in 2/3 of the United States, whereas California’s communities with optimal fluoridated water remained at 16 percent. With the assistance of major funding partners (see below), the CFTF’s mission is to assist, promote and educate local and state audiences about the benefits of increasing access to community water fluoridation in their area.
The CFTF is the administrator of funded grants from groups such as The California Endowment and the California Wellness Foundation, and has a proven ability to work with a number of variables involving governmental infrastructure, community grassroots organizing and public education.
• Grassroots networking, coalition building and presenting to local groups (e.g., Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, medical and dental societies, School Districts, faith communities et al.)
• Writing of fliers, petitions, and collateral design and distribution and collection
• Preparing scientific experts for speaking engagements
• Public relations writing and media relations
• Government Relations (arranging and participating in meetings with government officials)
With the CFTF’s focus on helping communities fluoridate their water supplies through funding, education and outreach, the multi-agency collaborative has assisted in nearly doubling the population that receives fluoridated water – from 15 percent to 28 percent.
The CFTF, by organizing community forums, public hearings, local lectures, local endorsement campaigns, letter writing and petitioning, is successfully completing its assistance to cities including Santa Maria, Sacramento, Redding, Los Angeles, Ventura, Inglewood and Santa Monica. The CFTF’s promotion of fluoridation, has raised the percentage of California’s 33 million residents population receiving water fluoridation to approximately 28 percent.
Location of Project: The State of California; Project cities included:
Escondido (City Council voted to fluoridate)
Santa Monica (City Council voted to fluoridate)
Sacramento (Currently fluoridating)
Watsonville (City Council voted to fluoridate)
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which oversees the East Bay Municipal Water District (Commission voted to fluoridate)
Los Angeles (Currently Fluoridating)
Santa Maria (City Council recently voted to fluoridate)
Inglewood (building coalition and grassroots support)
Ventura (building coalition and grassroots support)
Redding (building coalition and grassroots support)