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Flint Water Crisis

The Michigan Dental Association is available to support Flint dentists in light of the recent Flint water crisis. The MDA understands your patients may have concerns about the water used in your dental office, fluoride, bacteria, and other questions related to this situation. In order to assist you in answering these questions, the MDA has developed talking points that you may wish to use when communicating with your patients on this important issue.

It is highly recommended that if your dental office does not have a closed system utilizing distilled bottled water, you should have this installed as soon as possible. Retrofitting a dental unit for bottled water is relatively quick and inexpensive. If you need further information on this, please contact the MDA at 800-589-2632.

Talking Points

  • Our dental office operates with a closed system which means we use distilled bottled water.
  • The water from our drill, ultrasonic scaler, airwater syringe, and other equipment is distilled water.
  • Our sterilizers require distilled water and require regular testing for bacterial content.
  • Dental unit waterlines require regular testing.
  • If you are drinking bottled water that is not fluoridated, a fluoride varnish, fluoride rinse or fluoride supplement can help provide valuable protection to your teeth.
  • We recommend brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. If you are using a toothbrush that may have been exposed to the municipal water, we recommend replacing it.
  • There is no credible link between lead and fluoride corrosion or increased lead intake. For factual information, please visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Flint’s water supply was previously received from Detroit. Detroit’s water has been fluoridated since the early 1960’s.
  • Studies that claim to show a link between fluoride and lead intake were conducted under exposure rates more than 142 times that of the levels of fluoride that are used in the United States.

Fluoride/Bottled Water/Oral Health FAQs

Get the facts about the fluoride, the use of bottled water, and how they impact your oral health. Download the Frequently Asked Questions document below and share with your patients. This fact sheet was developed by the State of Michigan's Joint Information Center (part of the state’s advisory committee on this crisis).

The MDA is also also seeking input on how to best help with Flint’s recovery. Please take a moment to complete a short survey to share what assistance is most valuable to your community.