Assemblyman Touts Benefits of Fluoridated Water

A bill in the Legislature is calling for fluoride to be added to New Jersey’s drinking water. Assemblyman Herb Conaway Jr. (D-Burlington), one of the sponsors of the bill, spoke with NJToday Managing Editor Mike Schneider about the benefits of adding fluoride to drinking water.

Conaway said fluoridated water would reduce the amount of cavities in state residents. That could save as much as $2 million per month in dental costs the state incurs to treat those in need of assistance, he said. He also explained that children with tooth decay have declining performance in schools.

While some critics have said the cost would be prohibitive, Conaway said the average consumer would spend $1 per year and families could save $38 to $40 per year in dental costs because of the added fluoride.

Conaway said officials are currently looking at data to determine the grade of fluoride that should be used, but he believes it is an important step to take for the state, especially since 265 million people nationwide currently have fluoride in their water. “Unfortunately New Jersey is at the bottom and our families suffer,” he said.