POUGHKEEPSIE — Though typically a chemical that enters one’s mouth when drinking water or visiting the dentist, fluoride seemed to be something coming out of everyone’s mouth during Tuesday night’s City of Poughkeepsie Common Council meeting.
Frank Mora, vice chairman of the city and town’s Joint Water Board has been criticized for supporting the decision to stop adding fluoride to the city’s water, claiming that it could cause dental health problems, as he said it did to his son, who contracted dental flourosis, or staining of teeth due to high levels of fluoride exposure during the tooth forming years.
Several dentists, though, testified during the public comment period at the meeting that fluoridation, or the process of adding fluoride to water supplies, has helped improve dental health in patients during tooth growing years, not hurt them.
One dentist, Dr. Thomas Bloom, said it could actually be detrimental to a municipality if it gets removed from the water system, an act Mora pushed for.
“In any municipality, there would be a disastrous effect, especially during their forming years,” said Dr. Bloom, a practicing dentist in Poughkeepsie. “From the ages of about 12 months to 14 years, there would be a rash increase in cavities and tooth decay, and for the elderly, the suffering from the lack of mineralization due to age effects, the lack of fluoride would just increase that suffering.”
Mora, a lawyer, said to have sent several health departments a detailed list of questions regarding the effects of fluoridation in children and the elderly.
“We’re still waiting on the Dutchess County Department of Health and the State Department of Health to answer our questions. They haven’t answered any of them, or made any representation to this product in question. Until that happens, I can’t see any of us going further.”
No resolution on the matter was introduced by the council that night.