It’s safe, cheap and effective.
That was the message shared by several speakers at a forum on fluoridation at Hastings College Wednesday.
“Safe is what the literature tells us. It’s effective, we know it makes a difference and it’s efficient, too,” said Dr. Kim McFarland, the event’s keynote speaker.
McFarland, a practicing dentist and professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Dentistry, shared facts about fluoride, water fluoridation and benefits to the general public with the group of about 90 attendees.
“What we’re talking about is simply adjusting the fluoride level of water to a level that is therapeutic to the point where there is a dental benefit,” she said.
Fluoride is a natural element in water, air and soil, meaning that people breathe it in every day, McFarland said.
The fluoride level in the water in Hastings and Grand Island is .3 parts per million and neither community fluoridates its water.
Hastings voters will go to the polls on Nov. 4 to determine if the city should fluoridate its water supply or vote to opt out of the Nebraska Legislature’s decision to require fluoride.
According to dentists and other medical professionals, the optimum level for fluoride is one part per million. McFarland said this one part per million can be represented as one droplet of fluoride dropped into a tub full of water.