In the next few weeks the legislature of the City of Phoenix will decide whether or not to continue fluoridation of the public water supply. The topic is being discussed everywhere, people have very strong opinions, and it is a conversation being repeated in state after state. My e-mail has been inundated with information on supporting continued fluoridation, asking me to speak to patients and take a stand. There are pieces of this conversation I am clear about.
- Water Fluoridation decreases dental disease
- The caries rate will increase without water fluoridation, and increased caries early in life leads to a lifetime of dental treatment.
- Fluoride is not evil and does not have the horrible medical implications those opposed claim.
Given this, you would think my position is clear, and I completely disagree with the folks asking for fluoridation to be removed, right? In my mind it isn’t that simple because I do believe that people have the right to make choices about their health, well-being and healthcare. When does the majority get to say, versus individual choice? Seems to be a common conversation these days as well!
So what are the implications if public water fluoridation is discontinued. I believe it will be that much more important for patients to understand the choice of fluoride and alternative methods to have it available. I see a market for fluoridated bottled water that can be used for drinking and cooking. How about home fluoridation systems that add it to your household water supply? It has been many years since I have prescribed fluoride drops or vitamins with fluoride, but I think that will come back as well. Most of our patients are already using fluoridated toothpaste, but I can see many more deciding to do fluoride varnish as an adjunct during hygiene appointments.
If you are wondering, what I want for myself and my family, it is for water fluoridation to continue. I am also clear we have a lot of “fluoride resources” to offer our patients if we need them.
Martha Rich says
Years ago I worked very hard for fluoridation in Portland. I had a new patient come in and tell me not to use any of that poison on him. He proceeded to tell me about his family’s cows that were poisoned near an aluminum plant on the Columbia River. I chalked it up to him being old and crazy until I saw an ad in the New York Times Book Review titled “The Fluoride Deception.”. I ordered the book as I figured patients might ask me about it. It was written by an investigative reporter and was very well researched. Guess what! My patient’s crazy story was true. I believe fluoride is a necessary mineral like iron. But too much is not good. Let’s have a conversation on what processed foods are doing to us instead of adding extra fluoride.
Water Management says
Absolutely, fluoridation of water is a very good technique to keep several diseases away from us. The dental benefit mentioned in the post is also 100% fact. But, one thing to be remember is the quantity of fluoridation should be limited, it shouldn’t exceed the acceptable range of chemicals, otherwise some severe problems could occur.