There are so many rumors and half-truths floating around town, I feel it is my duty to counter at least one. I read in a letter to the editor that England and Europe are now either cutting back or have abandoned adding fluoride to the drinking water.
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That seemed very odd to me, given the solid evidence for over 60 years; so I wrote to two friends in England, one in Paris and one in Prague. My British friends answered promptly, the other two a bit later. However, they both said the same thing.
England has added fluoride for years. I had forgotten that the father of one friend was a dentist.
Apparently, France has opted in large measure for fluoridated salt as different areas contain varying amounts of natural fluoride. However, the basic result is the same.
The Czech Republic also has fluoride. The length of use is unknown, but it's definitely in now.
It has been mentioned that this is an elitist issue. Opponents say drops and toothpaste can be bought. What if you have little money? What if you are poorly educated and easily led to believe what some professionals, not dentists, tell you?
I urge the public to go online, ignore the "save us from poison" Web sites and go to the American Dental Association's Web site - not one of the sites that distorts their position - and any true medical journal. They are unanimous in support for fluoride in drinking water.
It is noteworthy that no local dentists could be found to oppose the fluoride issue; so someone had to be brought in from not only out of town, but another country.
There also is an interesting reaction from the smaller communities in Southeast. They can't believe Juneau would do such a thing - not the well educated, progressive capital of Alaska. What is going on? And do remember that Juneau had fluoridated water for at least 30 years.
Please check this out for yourself and be sure to vote in October. We need fluoride for everyone, not just those who can afford it. Why should poverty mean bad teeth? And for the opponents, if this proposition is defeated, in a few years - a dentist friend says five years (fluoride helps baby teeth while they're forming) - you will be personally responsible for increased caries in children. Is that what you want?
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