Trust professionals on fluoride issue

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, April 02, 2004

Naively I believed the water fluoridation debate had been resolved in the 1950s and 1960s, when opponents viewed fluoridation as a Communist plot (for the theatrical version, see Dr. Strangelove) against America. Apparently, the conspiracy theorists, assisted by pseudo-health care practitioners, are attacking fluoridation as dangerous. I guess scientific evidence to the contrary be damned.

Fluoridation reaches approximately 65 percent of the population on public water supplies in the U.S., including 90 percent of the 50 largest cities. The Centers for Disease Control characterize the practice of fluoridating drinking water to prevent dental decay as "one of the ten great public health achievements of the twentieth century." Clearly fluoridation has improved the quality of life in the U.S. by reducing tooth decay, tooth loss and money spent on dental care. Fluoridation is a safe and cost-effective public health measure that has benefited millions of Americans since the 1940s.

Call me crazy, but when it comes to understanding the benefits of fluoridation, I'll rely on advice from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control and my local dentist.

Alan Schorr


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