My Turn: When considering fluoride, keep common sense in mind

Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2007

This fluoride argument keeps going around and repeating, studies and agencies are quoted, and titles are flaunted. And all too little common sense is used.

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Take a mere moment and go swallow some water, I just did. Guess what I found? If I swallowed from the fountain the water barely touched my teeth. If I swallowed from a cold bottle in the fridge, I let it sit in my mouth and a bit more touched my teeth, my lower jaw that is, and just the backs of the teeth. Most sat on my tongue and in between my cheeks till I swallowed and some touched the backs of my top teeth, the vast majority of the water went into my stomach. So if I drink this 591 ML bottle of water, how many of those milliliters will actually touch my teeth? Fluoride only works if it comes in contact with the teeth.

The fact must be clear to everyone on both sides that let us say 98 percent of the water we use will never touch our teeth, and unless you swish all the time will not even touch all of our teeth. So studies and reputations aside. What does your common sense tell you? Is it more logical to fluoridate millions of gallons of water so that a few milliliters actually touch my teeth? Is that more logical than a bottle of drops, a varnish, a toothpaste that will directly affect my teeth?

Then there is the money saved in dental bills argument. We now know that the cost of new facilities will cost almost as much as the fluoride. We are talking now around, $800,000 was it?

All of that, or just the money we save from the fluoride, the original $400,000 or so, that we cannot split some if not all of that off to supply fluoride to low income families?

What of the mother who wrote in the Sept. 19 My Turn? Are the pro-fluoride advocates prepared to help her protect her family? I left both Germany and Michigan with fluoride free water and no skin problems. I developed skin problems in Juneau with fluoride that now have cleared up after fluoride was removed. No I do not have proof it was fluoride. If it comes back, think what you will, will you pay for the doctor to test if it is fluoride-related? Will you call for us to pay for fluoride filters for those low-income people who do not want fluoride?

How about for a change both sides stop all these silly quoting of studies and flaunting of titles and just write here your common sense thoughts. Let me hear a pro-fluoride person write here and say, "Yes! I feel it is logical to fluoride millions of gallons of clean water used on plants, laundry, toilets and pets, etc., just so a few milliliters actually make contact with the teeth, and the rest of that expensive fluoride just be wasted. This is far more logical then actually using products on your teeth locally."

Why is it that only anti-fluoride people ever suggest using the fluoride savings to fund fluoride for low income and the rest of the money to benefit the community in other ways? You do realize that a new valley pool would be filled with fluoride to swim in? That will help our teeth if we swim with our lips parted I guess.

So I will not ask you to vote yes or no. I ask you to set aside all the propaganda of both sides and use common sense and ask yourself if dumping fluoride in a dog or cat bowl, down your toilet, on your skin is really a logical thing to do to help your teeth. I have become confused in some ways by al the quotes and studies. So I fall back on my instinct and logic and the fact that I lived in Berlin for the 25 of the last 26 years and my wife's and my daughter's teeth are just fine. Nor did my ex-wife (dental assistant) or any of the three dentists she worked with ever agree that fluoride should be added to Berlin's water. Vote for what your head says is logical to you and spare a moment to wonder how that woman's family should avoid fluoride. I guess I can dump expensive bottled water on my head to shower. Wonder how much that will cost me?

I will vote no. I am not anti-fluoride. I have my fluoride in my tooth paste where it does some good. But I do not want it in my water, and I do not look forward to my skin getting a rash again - that itches.

• Kyle Lamson is a Juneau resident.



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