FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Though fluoridated water has been touted as one of the major dental health improvements of the 20th century, not all dentists are convinced it’s a wise public health strategy.
June 9, 2008 (San Francisco, California) Most dentists love fluoride, but support for water fluoridation is far from universal. In a recent survey by dental practice marketing resource The Wealthy Dentist, dentists expressed relatively low levels of concern about the safety of fluoride. However, anti-fluoridationists have become increasingly vocal.
Fluoride became nearly synonymous with dentistry in the 20th century. It was discovered quite by accident that children living in areas with high levels of naturally-occurring fluoride got fewer cavities. Fluoride became a standard ingredient in toothpaste. Many communities began to fluoridate their water supplies in order to protect the dental health of their residents.
Today, no one disputes that fluoride can help prevent cavities. However, some argue that water fluoridation may do more harm than good. Though most US residents still receive fluoridated water, an increasing number of communities are opting not to add fluoride to their public water supplies. Much of Europe has moved away from water fluoridation in recent years.
Of course, many dentists passionately defend fluoride and its safety.”It's the best public health measure ever instituted in this country for caries prevention," said a Texas dentist. “I think the public needs to understand the adverse affect of caries (cavities)!” agreed a Florida dentist. "Fluoride is 100% safe,” declared a Louisiana oral surgeon.
Some argue that water fluoridation does not actually improve dental health. “If you want fluoride to work, rub it on the teeth, don’t ingest it. If you want to prevent skin cancer, do you put SPF 30 in the water supply?” asked a New Jersey dentist. “Fluoride is okay topically, but no study shows that ingesting fluoride reduces decay,” agreed a Wisconsin dentist.
The issue of "forced medication" is central to some. “It's been shown to be effective, but we shouldn’t be medicating the whole population,” said a Colorado dentist. “It’s a travesty that this is placed in our water supplies,” agreed an orthodontist. "Dentists need to step back and stop forcing fluoride on the public," opined an Idaho dentist. "History will be unkind to dentistry on the subject of fluoridation," offered a dental office worker.
Some scientific evidence links fluoride to cancer and other health problems. “It's known to be toxic,” said a California dentist. "People have their heads in the sand about fluoride. The high incidence of testicular cancer in male adolescents living in fluoridated areas is enough to tell me," said a New Jersey dentist. "Recent studies suspect fluoride in water of my home town having caused a few osteosarcomas,” mentioned a California dentist.
"Water fluoridation is considered to be one of the major health improvements of the 20th century," said Jim Du Molin, dental practice management consultant and founder of The Wealthy Dentist. "Now, a lot of people are having second thoughts about adding chemicals to public water supplies. Though 'fighting cavities' sounds great, people are a lot less enthused about the idea of 'mass
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Jim Du Molin