Re: City needs fluoride, dentists say, July 12
I was concerned to read that the City of Toronto is considering a recommendation to eliminate fluoride from its drinking water. Ontario’s doctors want to stress the health benefits of fluoride in drinking water, especially for children, immigrant and low-income groups.
Fluoridation has been called a public health triumph because it improves the dental health of patients across the social spectrum. Anyone who has had serious dental problems knows the health significance and pain they cause. In this province, like many other places, there is a strict limit to the concentration of fluoride that can be added to municipal water systems. That fluoride concentration standard is based on the maximum benefit to teeth, while at the same time preventing any ill effects.
Fluoridating water is especially beneficial to those who may not be able to find dental care in other places, including children, new immigrants and those in lower socio-economic groups. These groups benefit greatly by the addition of fluoride to the drinking water and by other public health efforts to lessen certain health disparities.
The City of Toronto is home to many groups of people, and all of them benefit from the very small amount of fluoride added to the drinking water. The city should take these groups into consideration when thinking about eliminating fluoride.
Stewart Kennedy, MD, President, Ontario Medical Association, Toronto