By now you have seen the many breathless and shocked editorials and campaign ads against Pinellas County Commissioners who voted to take Fluoride out of the County water supply. It is “silly season” after all and politicians, especially those with less-worthy records, are using anything they can to get elected. In this case, the voters would think that the most important, number one issue in Pinellas County is the need to medicate the common water supply with Fluoride. Not increasing taxes, unfunded pension and health benefits, over-regulation, or dozens of other problems generally caused by government. Now, to be clear, it is certain that the incidence of cavities has gone down as a direct result of Fluoridation. Fluoride is absolutely a valuable substance to stop dental caries (cavities), but only when it is used on the surface of teeth (topically) not when swallowed as in the water supply. However the politicians, politicos and pundits who keep spreading their vitriol against those who stopped Fluoridation, never acknowledge important facts about real dangers with Fluoridation – one of which is dental fluorosis (pictured above). The elected officials who voted to stop placing fluoride as a medication in the water supply were responding to a powerful motivation among Pinellas county citizens: the value of choice; the value of not having an outside party force a substance into your body. When the government medicates your water, there is no choice but to drink the government medication. When doctors treat patients with medications or surgery, they advise them of the risk versus the benefit and then give the patient the choice of which risk to take. When governments medicate populations, they ignore the risks of negative effects to the people.
One of the big concerns about Fluoridation is the onset of a dental problem called “dental fluorosis”. That is right, the substance used to protect your teeth can also hurt your teeth. In fact, the CDC reports that the incidence of moderate and severe cases has more than doubled in the last 20 years – directly due to fluoridation! This is despite that fact that even with Fluoridation the incidence of dental caries is still 59% in the permanent teeth of adolescents. That’s right, despite fluoridation of water and a decrease in cavities, the number of people with cavities is still more than half of people! So while well over ½ of people get cavities under fluoridation, still many more get severe Fluorosis. A simple calculation for Pinellas county’s 917,00 people would tell us that Fluoridation is resulting in 33,000 moderate and severe cases of Fluorosis. All while >90% have at least one cavity by age 64 and 59% by age 19.
The Sun Beam Times thought the discriminating voter would like to learn some fact you have not heard on fluoridation besides voting. More importantly, the Sun Beam Times strongly recommends voting against politicians who use this as a featured campaign issue while also ignoring the many more important problems facing the stressed taxpayers of our County. That would mean that the following people DO NOT DESERVE YOUR VOTE for Pinellas county Commission: Ken Welch, Janet Long and Charlie Justice.
- Municipal Fluoridation of water supplies is an acknowledged and known cause of Dental Fluorosis.
- Dental Fluorosis is a deposition of Fluoride in teeth that causes cosmetic problems but in a some people, especially children can severely and permanently damage tooth enamel.
- The CDC states that the incidence of Dental Fluorosis substantially increased with the percentage of moderate and severe cases more than doubling in the early 2000’s compared to the 80’s, especially in the 12-15 year old age group. 41% of Americans are now affected compared to in the past.
- Mild cases of dental fluorosis can be an embarrassing and preventable cosmetic problem for children and require expensive whitening and other cosmetic treatments to correct.
- Moderate and severe dental fluorosis can result in permanent pitting of teeth and even deep dark staining and loss of teeth. Enamel is permanently lost.
- Since 1991, The America Dental Association pushed hard to have a warning placed on toothpaste that children under 6 years of age should not use more than a “pea-sized” amount of toothpaste and should avoid swallowing it to prevent dental fluorosis.
- Those who advocate Fluoridation of water act as if there are no negative effects and point only to the positive effects. They advocate for improvements in population statistics but ignore the impact on individuals who do not benefit or who are hurt.
- The CDC and the American Dental Association have recommended the use of low fluoride or fluoride free water for mixing baby formula for babies under 12 months of age.
- Fluoridation has been banned in most European countries for decades. In areas with high natural fluoride in India, scientists call for active de-fluoridation of water!
- Over 4000 medical, dental, scientific and environmental professionals have signed a statement calling for the end of water fluoridation.
- Government officials who vote against fluoridation of water are standing up for the right of citizens to avoid being medicated by their government, without consideration of negative effects.
- There are many alternative ways to achieve the same dental health goals that the health department could engage in including education, free fluoride supplements at the schools and free toothpaste and toothbrush distribution. Dental associations could assist in these efforts by helping to supplement taxpayer expenses for these programs.
- Politicians with very little else to offer like to target political opponents who have better policies and address more important issues than Fluoride regularly. Politicians that would stoop to this level should be viewed with skepticism.