This letter is in response to the editorial by Dr. Kim C. Smith, "Fluoride vote a disappointment," on Oct. 9. Smith stated that "Next time you see a young child with rotten teeth, just think how much harder it will be for him or her to be successful in society because of the poor first impression that smile will make."
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I do not disagree with this statement. But maybe a better question to ask would be, "Why haven't the parents of the child with rotten teeth taken proactive and inexpensive measures to ensure the dental health of their child?"
Or better yet, "Why haven't the parents of the child with rotten teeth given that kid healthy and inexpensive food to eat that does not promote tooth decay?"
I am not unsympathetic toward the needy families in Juneau having to cope with the high cost of dental health care. However, the community at large has spoken and fluoride will not be added to the public water system. It is now the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children practice proper dental care.
Finally, I do understand that there are some in our community that cannot afford proper dental care, no matter how much they aspire and work toward it. As a community, we can work toward helping these families by developing fluoride treatment programs that include fluoride supplements, just like Smith hopes for.