Communities praised for water fluoridation

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Health officials in Illinois are honoring 448 communities for maintaining state-mandated fluoride levels in their water systems last year.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency presented the awards Tuesday at a ceremony in Springfield.

Health experts say drinking fluoridated water from birth can reduce tooth decay by 40 to 65 percent.

State officials say about 99 percent of people served by public water systems in Illinois drink fluoridated water. That's compared with the national average of about 72 percent.

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