Make Fluoridation a Choice

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WATER FLUORIDATION IS THE PRACTICE OF ADDING INDUSTRIAL-GRADE FLUORIDE CHEMICALS TO WATER FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREVENTING TOOTH DECAY. ONE OF THE LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT THIS PRACTICE IS THAT THE UNITED STATES, WHICH FLUORIDATES OVER 70% OF ITS WATER SUPPLIES, HAS MORE PEOPLE DRINKING FLUORIDATED WATER THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED. MOST DEVELOPED NATIONS, INCLUDING ALL OF JAPAN AND 97% OF WESTERN EUROPE, DO NOT FLUORIDATE THEIR WATER.

Unlike all other water treatment processes, fluoridation does not treat the water itself, but the person consuming it. The Food & Drug Administration accepts that fluoride is a drug, not a nutrient, when used to prevent disease. By definition, therefore, fluoridating water is a form of mass medication. This is why most western European nations have rejected the practice— because, in their view, the public water supply is not an appropriate place to be adding drugs, particularly when fluoride is readily available for individual use in the form of toothpaste.

The most obvious reason to end fluoridation is that it is now known that fluoride's main benefit comes from topical contact with the teeth, not from ingestion. Even the CDC’s Oral Health Division now acknowledges this. There is simply no need, therefore, to swallow fluoride, whether in the water, toothpaste, or any other form. Further, despite early claims that fluoridated water would reduce cavities by 65%, modern large-scale studies show no consistent or meaningful difference in the cavity rates of fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.

First, there is no dispute that fluoridation is causing millions of children to develop dental fluorosis, a discoloration of the teeth that is caused by excessive fluoride intake. Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control have even acknowledged that ffluoridation is causing “cosmetically objectionable” ffluorosis on children’s front teeth–an effect that can cause embarrassment and distress at a time of life when physical appearance is the single most important predictor of self-esteem.

Second, it is known that fluoridated water caused severe bone disease in dialysis patients up until the late 1970s (prior to dialysis units filtering out fluoride). While dialysis units now filter out the fluoride, research shows that current fluoride exposures are still resulting in dangerously high bone fluoride levels in dialysis patients and patients with other advanced forms of kidney disease. It is unethical to compromise the health of some members in a population to obtain a purported benefit for another — particularly in the absence of these vulnerable members’ knowing consent.

The bottom line is water fluoridation has served its purpose in our history at a point in time when dental disease and hygiene were not easily attainable by the vast majority of society. Times have changed and topical fluoride sources are far more easily accessible today than 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago. Fluoride supplements are available in our toothpaste, mouth wash, oral tablets and solutions. Only 1% of water from our faucets will ever come into contact with the enamel of a human tooth, the other 99% is not even being used for its intended purpose of preventing caries. Even that 1% that will come into contact with teeth, becomes even smaller when ingested, since we now know fluoride only prevents caries topically; therefore any fluoride swallowed will not in fact prevent tooth decay. Let's stop force feeding our population of Hampton Roads fluoride against their will and develope a plan to put medication back into the hands of the Health Department and out of our water!



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