I was asked to speak at a recent special meeting of the Melbourne City Council about water Fluoridation.  I spoke in favor of continuing the existing water fluoridation program. Fluoride is a well proven agent to decrease the susceptibility of teeth to dental decay over a life time. Water fluoridation is the most effective and far and away the cheapest way to provide this protection.  Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in many parts of the USA. Some areas have too much fluoride and local municipal water treatment systems treat to remove the excess. Some areas have about the right amount and some don’t have enough. The naturally occurring back ground level of fluoride is considered when determining how to treat the water supply.  Some patients will require even more fluoride because of their special situation. Typically, the water fluoridation is geared toward children’s needs and factors in background fluoride levels and how much water you expect them to drink. People with low saliva flow due to medication, age, or radiation exposure will typically benefit from additional fluoride. Also, people with poor hand dexterity, poor eyesight, or stroke victims also usually will benefit from additional fluoride.  In my professional opinion, there are many scientifically valid studies that show a dramatic drop in tooth decay when fluoride is properly administered to public water supplies. It is also my professional opinion that there no scientifically valid studies that show ill effects to humans when fluoride is properly administered to public water supplies. I will discuss some of the issues that were brought up by both sides at the Melbourne meeting in later posts.

 

 

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