A lawmaker is pushing to add fluoride to the state’s public water system to promote oral health in Hawaii.
Senator Karl Rhoads explained reducing tooth decay is one of the reasons why he’s fighting for the change.
“We have the worst children’s dental health in the country. We’re at number 50. At the third grade level we have more cavities than any other state,” said Rhoads.
Rhoads said the four, big water systems of each county would be required to fluoridate their water. It’s an idea he’s confident would be safe and cost-effective.
“Fluoridation is a system that’s used all over the country, all over the world, that reduces cavities if you drink water that’s fluoridated,” said Rhoads.
Oahu resident and a father of two, Lennon Deleon, isn’t crazy on the idea.
“My daughter and my son go to dental appointments all the time and there’s certain restrictions on fluoride, they can only drop it once a day. How many times would they drink water in a day right? It’s a non organic chemical so, it’s a no for me,” explained Deleon.
But, Rhoads says it is safe in the right amount.
“All four counties chlorinate their water, that’s to keep us from getting gastro-intestinal diseases. They’re very similar chemicals,” explained Rhoads.
Along with reducing tooth decay, Rhoads says it’s a huge bang for the buck.
“In a big system like Honolulu’s, you could save up to $32 in reduced dental costs for every dollar that you spend fluoridating,” said Rhoads.
Oahu parent Toshiko Tomasso, says she supports the idea if it will help her save money.
“Dental costs for my kids was very high last time I visited. They had two cavities but I had to pay like $300. I think it would help my children prevent cavities, so I think it’d be a good thing.
Seventy percent of the U.S. population lives in communities with fluoridated water supplies.
*Original article online at https://www.kitv.com/story/39860301/state-lawmaker-pushes-to-add-fluoride-to-hawaiis-water