The positive impact of fluoridating drinking water has been known for decades now, yet the residents of Worcester have consistently voted against fluoridating their water supply. As recently as 2001 the residents of Worcester have refused the opportunity to improve oral health with water fluoridation. As dentists that serve Worcester and nearby towns, this is obviously a topic that means a lot to us.
There are several arguments that Worcester’s fluoridation opponents make against fluoridation but none of them stand up to scrutiny. Here are a couple of things to consider:
The cost of fluoridating Worcester’s water
Many feel like they would rather not spend additional tax money towards fluoridating the water supply. This is an example of being penny wise and pound foolish. The money saved on fluoridation will be spent many times over on treating dental cavities. A study has found that for every dollar spent on fluoridation there may be a benefit as high as $135 annually. While that statistic is looking at the extreme, another study found that the average per capita savings on dental work in communities that fluoridate their water is $32.19.
Fluoride has been proven safe time and again
The dentist father of a certain famous movie star gave his son too much fluoride when he was growing up, resulting in the actor needing dental veneers to cover the harmless but unsightly brown stains that come from ingesting too much fluoride. As a dentist, he should have known that public water fluoridation and fluoride treatment while visiting the dentist should be enough, yet by his admission he used “fluoride drops, fluoride tablets and fluoride gels” on his son. Despite all of this excess fluoride, his son is doing very well for himself as a Hollywood actor. Still, the dentist father now campaigns against fluoride due to this experience.
There has been so much scientific evidence showing the dental health benefits that come with fluoride and little reliable evidence that fluoride is harmful. Meanwhile, dental decay is certainly harmful and can lead to infections that require complicated and costly procedures such as root canals.
Despite feeling strongly about fluoridation as a dental office near Worcester, we respect residents’ right to choose whether to put fluoride in the water. No one can force anything if the majority have made their voice heard. But if you have concerns about fluoridation don’t hesitate to bring them up in your next dental visit. The dentists at Central New England Dental Associates will be very happy to provide the resources to help the residents of Worcester that are not getting enough fluoride in their diet and drinking water.