The Bozeman City Commission will decide Monday whether to continue adding fluoride to the city’s water supply.
Bozeman has been adding fluoride to its tap water since 1953, but a local group has asked the city to stop.
Public health officials say community water fluoridation improves dental health, particularly among the poor.
The Gallatin City-County Board of Health has submitted a letter to the city urging commissioners to continue fluoridating the water. More than 100 local health care providers, including 16 medical doctors and 54 dentists, such as Dr. Jane Gillette, Dr. Bill Fraser and Dr. Jason Tanguay, signed that letter.
Members of Fluoride Free Bozeman say fluoride is a toxic substance and a drug that should not be administered by the government.
The anti-fluoridation group has also submitted a letter to the city. That letter calls for an end to fluoridation and is signed by 35 area health care providers, such as naturopathic doctors, chiropractors and three dentists, Dr. Todd Kinney, Dr. Amy Madden Kinney and Dr. Todd Steinmetz.
Fluoride Free Bozeman is collecting signatures on a petition to force a public vote on the issue.
Gallatin County Election Administrator Charlotte Mills said the group must collect signatures from 25 percent of registered voters in Bozeman, or 4,041 people, by July 10 to get a referendum in November.
Robert Branson, a spokesman for Fluoride Free Bozeman, said members planned to start gathering signatures Saturday on a petition with language that has been approved by election officials.