Fluoridation is NOT an outdated system of public health means of combating dental decay. As a dental practitioner, I have learned how to prevent decay in a non-fluoridated community. My two daughters, ages 29 and 25 are cavity free. As with any young person growing up in Portland who is also cavity free, they've enjoyed the "EPA" of dental prevention: Education, Prevention, and Access to care. If you have all three, there's a very good chance that one will not have to experience the pain and suffering of oral disease. If you are not as fortunate as those that have enjoyed "EPA", your risk of oral disease is greatly increased.
Public Health is about treating a population, not an individual. Some people, who don't understand this fact, have a difficult time with the idea of adjusting the existing level of fluoride concentration in Bull Run upwards to the 0.7 ppm level that is considered optimal for dental health. Fluoridation is egalitarian access to oral care.
Yes, someone is going to feel inconvenienced when it is implemented. In the late '60's, Seattle went through a contentious fluoridation campaign over fluoridation. Today, when I visit my daughter in Seattle, I go out to dinner with her and see folks drinking fluoridated tap water, standing in line at Starbuck's to buy a latte made with fluoridated water, and drinking many local microbrews brewed with fluoridated water, and no one gives it a second thought.
The personal choice issue has been strongly articulated here in Portland, but I would like to respond to that by sharing a quote by Dr. John Harris of the U. of Manchester in the U.K:
“We should ask not are we entitled to impose fluoridation on unwilling people, but are the unwilling people entitled to impose the risks, damage & costs of the failure to fluoridate on the community at large? When we compare the freedoms at stake, the most crucial is surely the one which involves liberation from pain and disease.”
I work 2 days a week volunteering dental care to mostly low-income children. They didn't get to choose who their parents are or what socio-economic class they were born into. Who advocates for them, mystixa?
Charity is not a health care system, and if we lived in a perfect world, we wouldn't need safety net dental clinics or fluoridation.
We don't live in that world.........................
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