Fluoridate Our Water, Say Majority of Dentists

post your comments about water fluoridation to our blog. Read the fluoridated water press release.

Water Fluoridation Dental Survey ResultsIn our most recent survey, we asked dentists if they are in favor of water fluoridation. The clear majority (85%) support fluoridation, with many citing it as one of the top 10 public health innovations of the 20th century. The minority (15%) voiced concerns about the possible side effects of mass medication.

“There is a reason it was rated one of the top ten health policies of the century," said one orthodontist. “Fluoride in excess is linked to several health problems." cautioned a prosthodontist. “It is forced medication of questionable benefit," said another dentist.

One dentist shared his anecdotal evidence in support of fluoridation. “I have had a practice in a small city for 25 years that does not have water fluoridation. This location is surrounded by many towns that are fluoridated. There is a drastically higher level of caries in children of the non fluoridated
city than the surrounding towns."

Read the dentists’ comments for more insight into their thoughts on fluoride.


General dentists versus specialists




Specialists were somewhat more likely than general dentists to support water fluoridation.


 


Urban, suburban and rural dentists




Geographic location was not particularly correlated with attitudes about fluoridation, although suburban dentists were most likely to support it.

For more insight into what our respondents are thinking, check out their comments!

Fluoride is the greatest

  • “All areas should be fluoridated." (Illinois pediatric dentist)
  • “Best preventive measure in modern history." (Illinois dentist)
  • “Greatest thing since 'apple pie.'" (North Dakota dentist)
  • “Has been a successful program. Keep it." (Utah dentist)
  • “Probably saved my molars as a child." (General dentist)
  • “We desperately need it in our location." (Oregon pediatric dentist)

The risks of side effects aren't worth it

  • “Fluoride in excess is linked to several health problems." (Florida prosthodontist)
  • “in light of the Bassin research paper (Harvard School of Dental Medicine) showing a 5-7 fold increase in osteosarcoma in boys exposed to community
    water fluoridation between the ages of 5 and 10, it is almost criminal to support fluoridation." (Florida dentist)
  • “Possible carcinogen." (Massachusetts dentist)
  • “My thoughts are mixed. I have seen the China data on crippling fluorosis and understand that higher concentrations of fluoride in the water supply can be very dangerous… It concerns me that older men and women are suffering from osteoporosis at an alarming rate… So, I'm wondering, are we living proof that there is too much fluoride in the water supply?" (Michigan dentist)

Fluoride is safe and effective

  • “There is a reason it was rated one of the top ten health policies of the century." (New York orthodontist)
  • “Really does have an effect in reducing caries! I feel it is very safe." (Hawaii dentist)
  • “Really helps inhibit tooth decay." (California dentist)
  • “It is a benefit to our society and assists in the prevention of innumerable dental caries." (Utah dentist)

Not just effective, but also cost-effective

  • “Water fluoridation is a safe and cost-effective preventive public health measure." (New Mexico dentist)
  • “Water fluoridation is the most effective low risk and low cost method of reducing dental decay rates for children in any size community." (Illinois dentist)
  • “Most cost-effective way to decrease the amount of dental caries." (Illinois pediatric dentist)

Isn't it involuntary mass medication?

  • “Fluoridation clearly helps prevent tooth decay in developing children, but I think it's wrong to medicate the whole population." (Colorado dentist)
  • “Fluoride should be optional." (California dentist)
  • “It is forced medication of questionable benefit, and its source is chemical waste from fertilizer processing plants….eeeeeehh!" (Washington dentist)
  • “There is evidence that fluoride in the water may not be as effective as we have been led to believe. I do not like the idea of forcing fluoridated water on people. If you want to add fluoride to people's diets, there are other ways to accomplish this without adding it to our drinking source." (General dentist)

It's a matter of public health

  • “If a city or county doesn't fluoridate their water, they should not receive tax money to fix their population's teeth." (California dentist)
  • “It is the best thing that we as dentists can do for our communities, our patients and our profession. Prevention is the key to eliminating dental
    decay and it is one of the few activities that may do something to address the access problem in this country. How can any dentist be opposed to it?" (Maine orthodontist)
  • Essential public health approach to prevention." (Iowa dental public health dentist)
  • “Prevention, prevention, prevention!!" (Oregon dentist)
  • “Water fluoridation helps to decrease oral disease in those that are unable to access dental care because of cost or low dental health literacy. It is
    safe and effective and will save individuals (and the public in general) money." (General dentist)

Fluoride is best used topically

  • “The toxic side effects of ingesting fluoride outweigh the benefits. I can accept topical use only. The fluoride they put in your water comes as a
    byproduct of the aluminum industry, and it is so toxic that it can only be put in special landfills or your local water supple… Makes you wonder." (General dentist)
  • “It is unnecessary and is downright dangerous to the health of the general population. Fluoride for dental caries prevention is best applied topically." (New York dentist)

Are there problems with fluoride?

  • “I believe in it but am concerned that there may be problems that are being suppressed by the government." (Michigan dentist)
  • “As long as there are no serious risks." (Oklahoma dentist)
  • “60 years of proven efficacy. While initially compelling, anti-fluoridation sentiment is belief-based and highly emotional. Hard, scientific, evidence based research supports fluoride. Dentists need to educate themselves on this subject as they are trusted resource to their patients and community." (California orthodontist)
  • “While it may not be regulated well enough, it is very helpful in preventing dental caries. However, it should never exceed 1 ppm. Some states such as ND have let it reach as high as 1.3+ppm."
  • “Unfortunately, most kids do not drink enough water, no matter what their socioeconomic level. but is a good public health attempt." Massachusetts
    pediatric dentist)

Anecdotal evidence in support of fluoride

  • “I have had a practice in a small city for 25 years that does not have water fluoridation. This location is surrounded by many towns that are fluoridated.
    There is a drastically higher level of caries in children of the non fluoridated city than the surrounding towns." (New Jersey dentist)

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