Is fluoridation getting old yet?

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, April 11, 2004

Perhaps I am flogging a dead horse by this date, but I find the fluoridation issue very nearly amusing. It's a fact that there are minerals/chemicals that our bodies need. You'll see them on the back of cereal boxes. Iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium. Use zinc as an example. Most people know that zinc is toxic, and that it's a good idea to wash your hands after handling it, but it doesn't bother anybody to see zinc in Kellogg's cornflakes.

Iodine is always automatically added salt. It's like fluorine and chlorine and bromine. It's caustic, poisonous stuff, but without a little bit of iodine, your thyroid falls apart and you start getting sick. You might get goiter, women might have miscarriages, babies might be stillborn. So, unless those examples are to be discounted as conspiracy as well, what is so hard about accepting the fact that sodium fluoride is something that you also need a pinch of?

Even if most people aren't arguing the necessity of fluoride, but instead the possibility of too much fluoride, I still see the benefits far outweighing the dangers. Possible mild fluorosis of a few, versus weakened cavity-prone teeth for all. Claims of dangers beyond mild fluorosis are very dubious. Sure, there are sources on the Internet that will vilify fluoridation, but you have to be discriminating. The EPA? Prestigious, but I don't think I'm going to listen to what the Environmental Protection Agency has to say about the health of my teeth. I'd like my teeth to be the farthest thing from an environment as possible, hopefully kept clean, free of wildlife, and enameled with the help of fluoride. Neither will I listen to individuals who post Web pages dedicated to uncovering "the truth" about fluoridation. Individuals have a nasty habit of exaggeration, selective/false quotations, and simply lying.

I will, however, listen to what the CDC and dentists have to say, since it is their business to know what is important for my health and my teeth. I'm not listening to them because I have already made up my mind on the issue, and they were all I could find to corroborate my beliefs, but because they are simply the experts, and ought to be trusted.

Matt Voelckers


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