By LADY-JEAN STRATFORD, DMD
and BRIAN GILMORE, DDS
Fluoridation of community water supplies is the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proclaimed community water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
Fluoride in our water benefits everyone, especially those without access to regular dental care. It is the most efficient way to prevent one of the most common childhood diseases, tooth decay, which is five times as common as asthma in five to 17 year olds. Adding fluoride to drinking water is like the addition of vitamin D to milk and iodine to table salt. There is absolutely no legitimate scientific study or research that shows that there are any harmful effects from fluoride in our drinking water when it is in the correct concentration, 1.0 ppm (parts per million).
More than 65 years of research and practical experience consistently shows that fluoridation of community water is safe. In dentistry we see the positive effects of fluoride in our water on a daily basis. When volunteering in communities and countries with no fluoride in the water, twice the prevalence of cavities and dental disease is painfully obvious. The American Dental Association, the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Medical Association, and the World Health Organization support fluoridation of community water supplies. It is absolutely important that we keep fluoride in our city water for all of our sakes.
If fluoride were to be removed from our water, it would condemn the oral health of generations to come. For credible information about fluoridation, please visit the American Dental Association’s website at www.ada.org/goto/fluoride.
The information indicating that money saved by removing fluoride from our water, could be spent on other things, is not correct. Money collected from our water bills has to be spent on our water system. It is dedicated money and can not be used in another department of the city, or reallocated to provide dental care to fix all of the cavities that could have been prevented by continuing to fluoridate our water.
The cost of water fluoridation is very inexpensive and highly cost effective. An individual can have a lifetime of fluoride in the water for less than the cost of one dental filling. Water fluoridation contributes much more to our overall health than simply reducing tooth decay. It prevents needless infection, pain, suffering and loss of teeth: improves the quality of life and saves vast sums of money in dental treatment costs. The evidence strongly shows, and nearly all dentists and medical doctors agree we should keep fluoride in Keizer’s city water.
Lady-Jean Stratford has a dental clinic in Keizer; Brian Gilmour has dental clinic in Salem.