Fujita, Schoch, Pogline, Johnson: Support fluoridation | SteamboatToday.com

Fujita, Schoch, Pogline, Johnson: Support fluoridation

We the following are writing to express our support for retaining community water fluoridation in Hayden. Colorado is where researchers first discovered the benefits of fluoride in preventing cavities, and we are proud of this legacy. The people of Hayden have had the benefits of fluoridation since 1960.

In January 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended changing the optimal fluoride level in drinking water in order to prevent tooth decay to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water. Most U.S. cities and communities, including Hayden, are already fluoridating their water at 0.7, and this new recommendation does not reflect a change in the evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of this intervention.

The claim that fluoridated water is harmful simply doesn't stand up to the evidence. Water companies use only a trace level of fluoride. In fact, there is less than one tablespoon of fluoride in 1,300 gallons of water.

No one has been able to prove adverse health effects from drinking water with 0.7 mg/L. Anti-fluoride activists have no evidence proving fluoride is harmful at the level used for fluoridating water.

More than 3,000 studies and research papers have been produced about fluoridation and fluoride. After all of these studies, if there were any evidence of these supposed harms, we would know about it by now.

Americans have been drinking fluoridated water for more than 65 years, and there is overwhelming evidence showing it is both safe and effective. Don't be fooled by the claims made by fluoridation opponents. Many of the attacks made against water fluoridation are based on studies of fluoride levels that were significantly higher than the level used to fluoridate public water systems in the U.S.

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Anti-fluoride activists falsely claim that fluoride is a "medicine." But the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition wrote: "Fluoride is not a medicine. It is a nutrient which enhances the stability of teeth and bones and is a partial preventative of (decay)."

Dental caries is the most common childhood disease and is associated with diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes, heart disease and lost school and work hours. Fluoridated water decreases tooth decay by nearly 25 percent in children and adults, and it saves communities money by reducing dental costs and lost work hours spent on repairing tooth decay. For most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in unnecessary dental treatment costs.

Water fluoridation helps to improve oral health for people of all income levels and racial/ethnic backgrounds. In fact, a 2002 study called water fluoridation "the most effective and practical method" for reducing the gap in decay rates between low-income and upper-income Americans.

Fluoridation is a smart health strategy — even today, when nearly everyone brushes with fluoride toothpaste, which alone is not enough to prevent cavities. Research proves that drinking fluoridated water reduces the risk of decay.

At a time when more than 100 million Americans lack dental insurance, fluoridation offers an easy, inexpensive preventive strategy that everyone benefits from simply by turning on their tap.

Hayden has been wise to use this proven intervention, and we urge its continuation to benefit all its residents. Please keep Hayden healthy — vote no on 2F.

For reliable resources, visit ilikemyteeth.org/wpcontent/uploads/2012/05/QandAonCommunityWaterFluoridation_v1b.pdf.

Dana Fujita DDS

Sheena Schoch DDS

Peyton Pogline RDH

Malea Johnson RDH

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