The Del Norte County Unified School District Board will consider signing a resolution in support of keeping fluoride in the municipal water system.
Crescent City residents will vote in November on whether to remove fluoride from the water supply.
Local residents Katherine Kelly and Connie Morrison gathered enough signatures to put the measure on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The argument against fluoridated water is that too much fluoride can be harmful to the body and cause dental problems or debilitating diseases such as bone cancer.
However, others believe that fluoridation is necessary to prevent tooth decay and not enough children get the dental care they need to keep their teeth healthy.
Not all parents realize that dental care — brushing teeth and dental visits — early in a child’s life is crucial to his or her health, said Superintendent Jan Moorehouse.
Lack of dental care can greatly affect a child’s ability to learn if one or more teeth are aching, she said.
“Little guys sent to school with dental cavities don’t learn well,” Moorehouse said.
It’s a “real concern,” she said, adding that young children don’t know how to vocalize their pain other than to say that their mouth hurts.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps prevent and reverse tooth decay.
Data shows children who drink fluoridated water have fewer cavities than those who don’t, Moorehouse said.
The Del?Norte County Board of Supervisors recently objected to the ballot measure, without taking a stand on the issue of fluoride.
Supervisor Martha McClure drafted a letter to the city noting that only residents who live in the city can vote on the measure, while the majority of those who reside outside city limits cannot vote on this issue even though they use the same water supply.
The resolution the School Board will consider Thursday notes that dental disease is most chronic among low-income children, and fluoridated water can prevent cavities and reduce dental costs.
“We can’t go out and campaign,” Moorehouse said about an effort to shoot down the fluoride ballot measure, “but we can sign a resolution.”
It states: “The Del Norte County Unified School District supports water fluoridation as a scientifically proven prevention program that promotes good oral health and opposes Measure A on the City of Crescent City November ballot.”
IF YOU GO
• WHAT: Del?Norte County?Office of Education and Unified School District Board meetings
• WHEN: Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
• WHERE: Education Center Building, Curriculum and Instruction Center at 301 W. Washington Blvd.