Stuart residents who want to improve the oral health of their community will vote “yes” Jan. 29 to fluoridate the city’s public water supply.
Early voting begins Monday on this important public health issue.
Those who will benefit the most if the referendum passes are children from economically disenfranchised families who may not have regular access to oral health products and routine dental care. But all residents will receive the benefit of this cavity-fighting additive.
There is little evidence — evidence supported by solid science — to support their claims. The only real threat from overexposure to fluoride is a condition called fluorosis, where bright spots may develop on the teeth.
To the contrary, there is a 60-plus-year history of the benefits of fluoride when it is added in safe amounts — 0.7-1.2 parts per million — to the public water supply.
There also is the testimony of those who see the daily benefits of fluoridation — the members of the dental and or´al health communities.
“Fluoride is safe, incredibly effective, and incredibly cost effective,” said Dr. David Boden, a local periodontist who practices in Stuart and Port St. Lucie. “It’s also egalitarian — it helps everybody across the board regardless of race and income. It’s a lifelong gift to our children.”
Boden, who has led the fight to fluoridate public water supplies on the Treasure Coast, points out that at least 70 percent of the communities in Florida are fluoridated. “But,” he adds, “we’re the only county on the east side of Florida that doesn’t have at least one community with water fluoridation.”
Then there is the testimony of leading health organizations.
• “The AMA recognized the important public health ben´efits of drinking properly fluoridated water and encourages its member physicians and medical societies to work with local and state health departments, dental societies and con´cerned citizens to assure the optimal fluoridation of community drinking water supplies.”
— American Medical Association
• Since 1950, the ADA has unreservedly endorsed the fluoridation of community water supplies as safe, effective and necessary in preventing tooth decay.”
— American Dental Association
Stuart residents shouldn’t just vote to fluoridate the city’s public water supply. They should do so with confidence.