Most people realize the importance of good dental hygiene and good dental habits. Choosing to brush and floss regularly, visiting your dentist, avoiding sweets and other negative nutritional habits are all excellent choices.
I am thankful that we live in a world that allows us to have choices. Most people who oppose community water fluoridation believe that this practice violates their ability to make a choice. They believe that as a human being they have a fundamental right to choose what enters their body.
Fluoridating the public drinking water eliminates their choice to drink pure, natural non-medicated water. It eliminates their ability to make a personal health-care choice.
Most people who oppose community water fluoridation believe this practice may adversely affect their health. The chemicals commonly used in fluoridation are waste by-products of the fertilizer industry and they believe that it is impossible to know the long term cellular and genetic consequence of altering the water that Mother Nature created.
Most people who oppose community water fluoridation believe that this practice violates modern health-care ethics as it relates to mass medication and informed consent. One of the most noticeable changes in health-care in the past 15 years has been the practice of discussing potential side effects and dangers of prescription drugs with patients. Modern health-care protocol requires this practice to ensure that each person fully understands the potential risks and options before they make a health-care decision. Communities that artificially fluoridate the public water supply completely violate modern informed consent practices.
Another change you may have noticed is that prescription drugs are being tailored to the specific needs of each individual. Gone are the days of one or two drugs for everybody with heart disease. Gone are the days of prescribing antibiotics for everyone who walks in the door with a head cold or ear infection.
Imagine how easy it would have been for the medical profession to recommend adding low-grade amounts of antibiotics to our water supply to reduce or prevent infections. Imagine how easy it would be to recommend adding any number of chemicals to our water, air, or food to reduce or prevent arthritis, near-sightedness, memory loss, decreased strength and stamina.
For every common malady, we could add a vitamin or mineral supplement to the water supply. But not once has any other health-care discipline, besides dentistry, ever attempted to add a chemical to our water to reduce or prevent disease. Community water fluoridation is an archaic and unethical form of mass medication.
The practice of community water fluoridation began in 1945, and has slowly grown to include about 65 percent of the nation’s public water systems. The practice was started when America ranked in the top five of the healthiest countries in the world.
Since the early 1950’s America has steadily dropped from the top five healthiest countries in the world to 26th, according to the World Health Organizations 2003 census. Many people believe that altering our food and water supply with pesticides, preservatives, artificial ingredients and chemicals such as fluoride are contributing factors to Americas decline.
Finally, we must always remember that our bodies are living organisms designed to live in balance with our internal and external environments. As such, our bodies have evolved over millions of years without the exposure to the toxins and chemicals that we are now putting into our bodies. The majority of the healthiest countries in the world have banned, rejected or stopped fluoridating their community water supplies for legal, health or ethical reasons.
At the end of the day, this argument comes down to two simple and basic questions: do you believe that the public water supply should be used as a vehicle to deliver drugs, chemicals or substances for the treatment or prevention of disease?
If your answer is “no,” then the argument should stop here and you should not support fluoridation. If your answer is “yes,” then you must answer the second question: How much benefit does water fluoridation provide above and beyond that of proper dental hygiene?
To date I have found no recent scientific studies that demonstrate a measurable significant reduction in dental caries for people practicing proper dental hygiene.
Don’t be fooled into thinking fluoridation is something you should blindly support. Google fluoridation and research the many sites dedicated to this highly controversial practice.
Topically applying fluoride products may help reduce tooth decay. Unfortunately, systemic ingestion of these chemicals may result in adverse health conditions for you and your children. I urge all residents of the Coulee Region to contact their elected officials and urge them to stop, reject and ban this archaic and unethical practice.
Michael Berkley is a chiropractor and town of Onalaska resident.