JOHNSTOWN- Local dentists are speaking out after the Greater Johnstown Water Authority voted to remove fluoride from the city water.
Dr. John Walker said he’s disappointed by the authority’s decision as it surrounds children and their future, and now, they could suffer the consequences.
“They’re not taking into consideration that kids don’t actually have a vote and it’s the kids that will suffer the consequences of this decision,” said Walker, DMD at Family Dental Care.
The Greater Johnstown Water Authority voted unanimously Thursday 11-0 to remove fluoride from city water. The decision affects upwards of 40,000 customers.
“I knew there would be pros and cons. I’m very satisfied and I think the board is very satisfied with the outcome of it,” said Ed Cernic Sr., authority chairman.
The water authority said fluoride is corrosive, dangerous and expensive. The manager, Michael Kerr, said it would have cost $400,000 over the next 10 years to keep it.
Kerr said fluoride will be out of the water system by the end of the year.
Now, Dr. Walker said it’s important for parents to pay attention to their children’s teeth.
“Best option for parents right now are to pay attention to their kids and brushing habits. They should be brushing at least two times a day if not three times a day,” said Walker.
Walker said parents should be brushing with their children to be sure they’re brushing for two to three minutes every time they sit down to brush.
“The fluoride that is in toothpaste and is in mouthwash can certainly combat this and be enough. But, the problem is whether or not the parents take that responsibility,” said Walker.
Walker said children’s teeth begin to develop when they’re in their mothers wound and getting the right amount of fluoride is important.
“Children’s teeth begin developing in their mothers belly. Then, at about six months they start teething and get their first tooth. The adult teeth are already in their mouth as well, developing. So, fluoride helps with development and growth of teeth,” said Walker.
Without fluoride, Walker said kids teeth could begin to break or not look normal without it.
“That has a real power in a child’s development and self-esteem and self-worth. Along with the fact that they’re hurting and not eating properly, therefore their malnutrition goes up, then they are afraid to touch their teeth so they don’t brush them because they hurt. You have all that that feeds into this. Then these teeth develop into adult teeth and again we’re going to see people with not as many teeth as they could have had,” said Walker.
Walker said he believes that without fluoride, over time, more children will have cavities and decay than we have seen in the past.
*Original article online at http://wjactv.com/news/local/local-dentists-speak-out-following-decision-to-remove-fluoride-from-water