A thistle to the members of the Ida Grove City Council who voted to end the town’s water fluoridation program. They made the decision based on the results of a survey sent in residents’ utility bills. Had the leaders relied on science and public health experts instead of the opinions of half the town’s residents, they would not have unnecessarily jeopardized the dental health of Iowans.
Fluoride compounds “make your teeth stronger and prevent cavities,” according to the American Dental Association. “They can even reverse early tooth decay.”
It is no coincidence that droves of young Americans stopped losing teeth to decay after fluoride was introduced to drinking water in the late 1940s. And it will be no coincidence when northwest Iowa residents develop more cavities and lose teeth. They can thank unscientific surveys, misguided leaders, and a few, loud anti-fluoride zealots. Hopefully Medicaid doesn’t have to pay the dental bills.