Praise for fluoride
The Aspen City Council is to be congratulated for its stand, as everything they were told by the anti-fluoridationists was either an out-of-this-world fantasy, a total antithesis of a fact or a misleading distortion of a fact. An example is the claim that only children benefit. Children’s teeth, developing from the fourth month in utero through the teens, are the main beneficiary; tooth dentin and roots continue to accumulate fluoride and its benefit through all of adult life.
While every community has a few anti-fluoridationists, along with a few racists and anti-Semites, in my more than 40 years involvement with the subject, I have never encountered an open activist in a municipal water department presenting specious arguments for discontinuing a service that he is supposed to provide to the community. Someone in authority needs to have a talk with the water department personnel.
Mayor Ireland deserves plaudits for holding that the views of the informed electorate determine such questions as fluoridation, but I must correct him for having picked up, inadvertently I hope, the incorrect pejorative terminology of the anti-fluoridationists. For the past two generations, fluoride has been recognized by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine and by the Food and Drug Administration as an essential nutrient; therefore, water fluoridation may be termed a water treatment, or fortifying the water or adding a nutrient to the water but cannot correctly be referred to as medicating the water. The mayor earns additional praise for knowing that the temporary benefit resulting from topical fluoride applications is not a substitute for the lifelong benefit built into the teeth derived from drinking fluoridated water and/or taking fluoride supplements.
William Glenn, M.D.
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