A plea to end fluoridation of the city’s water supply received short shrift from city council on Monday night.
Council took no action to change the practice after hearing from advocates on both sides of the debate, beginning with Oregon-based dentist Dr. Bill Osmuson, who claimed fluoridation is not effective in preventing tooth decay.
He also noted that toothpaste tubes advise children under six should use only a pea-size amount and added it’s the same amount as found in a one-sixth litre glass of Prince George water.
Osmuson further asserted too much fluoride is linked to bone cancer, decreased brain activity, bone fractures, diabetes, obesity, kidney damage, gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, and reproductive problems.
And he said fluoride promotes dental fluorosis.
But in a separate presentation, retired dentist Arnold Steinbart said that fluoridation has helped promote healthier teeth since it was introduced in Prince George in 1955. A 1968 survey showed 52-per-cent fewer cavities in this city’s children compared to those in Quesnel where there was not fluoridation.
He also noted that the amount of fluoride in the city’s water is 0.7 parts per million, less than half the level recommended by the federal government.
“Why is that?” he asked. “Because we know they’re going to get fluoride in other sources.
Some fluoride will be swallowed while brush, “but we have to teach the children how to brush their teeth and we have to brush the younger children’s teeth.”