Dentists are asking Marco Island leaders to add fluoride to its drinking water.
It’s a controversial practice that’s been done for decades.
These dentists say it’s necessary because the tooth decay on wealthy Marco Island is worse than in impoverished Immokalee, but not all parents are on board.
Casey Canady doesn’t support adding fluoride to the water he and his 18-month-old daughter drink.
“You can just brush their teeth. That’s all you need to do,” Canady said.
Medical professionals disagree. According to the health department, kids at Tommy Barfield Elementary School on Marco Island have more cavities than kids anywhere else in Collier County.
Dr. Gary Godley said that’s concerning.
“I think they should seriously consider fluoridating the water,” Godley said.
Godley said adding fluoride into the water is a cost-effective way to prevent cavities. Marco Island resident Genny DiBlasi agreed.
“I think we should add fluoride to the water. I’ve worked in the dental field for over 40 years, and I wholeheartedly believe in fluoride,” DiBlasi said.
Some people say American kids are being overexposed to fluoride and that can lead to health problems.
Fluoride can be found in some toothpaste, so Canady said each family should have the choice of whether to give it to their children.
“I think you can just brush their teeth instead of adding chemicals to the water,” Canady said.
The Collier County Dental Association has expressed interest in helping Marco Island officials add fluoride to the water. But right now, they said it’s too early to say if it will happen.