© 2000-2003 PFPC

Stokes EA - “Improving Dental Health of DOD Related Persons Assigned to Okinawa by Using Fluoridated Salt in Lieu of Water Fluoridation: A Comparative Analysis”

Author Address: Air Command and Staff Coll., Maxwell AFB, AL. Source: Govt Reports Announcements & Index (GRA&I), Issue 12, 2002


   Good oral health is vital to U.S. military and DOD related personnel. Supplemental fluoride may be an effective method of improving oral health by reducing dental caries. Water and salt fluoridation were evaluated as methods to provide mass supplemental fluoride to DOD related personnel stationed at Okinawa. METHOD: The two methods were compared with respect to effectiveness, dose control, delivery effectiveness in targeting receptors, costs, and other factors such as environmental and health issues. RESULTS: Approximately 14 percent of the DOD related population consumed bottled water. Water fluoridation would benefit 3,700 full-time-equivalent (FTE) children and 8,310 FTE adults and prevent 370 and 500 caries annually at a cost of $55.5-$79 per carie avoided. Annual operating and life cycle costs for the Air Force to fluoridate Kadena water were estimated at $48,250 and $68,800 respectively. Fluoridated salt would benefit 6,630 FTE children and 23,780 FTE adults and prevent 660 and 1,430 caries annually at a cost of $2.50 per carie avoided. Air Force annual operating and life cycle costs for salt fluoridation were estimated at $100 annually. Salt fluoridation complies with all environmental laws, DOD regulations, and policies and may result in more consistent fluoride doses. It avoids injecting 21,600 pounds of hazardous material in to the Okinawan environment as occurs with water fluoridation. CONCLUSION: Fluoridated salt is the most effective, most efficient, safest, and most economical method of providing supplemental fluoride to DOD personnel on Okinawa.