Greenwood has enjoyed the benefits of water fluoridation since the early 1980s. This occasion was ushered in through a referendum by the community and accepted by CPW. Time has a way of diminishing how things were pre-fluoridation but the memory is still strong with retired dentists such as Erwin Able and Jimmy Padgett. Both could tell you which part of town many of their patients were from based purely on the prevalence of tooth decay and the impact of community water fluoridation. Nobody thought to ask these clinicians about their experiences.
CPW elected to remove this service because of “corrosion control issues”. They have not done a good job of selling this to the public. In searching the minutes of the meeting, I find no documentation of pH or corrosion issues pertaining to the introduction of fluoride to the system. The pH reports from many years back look great. Fluoride concentrations are nearly optimal. Good enough water that they were awarded the 2017 15-year director’s award for its Phase III program. What changed? Considering that fluoridation is perceived to be a major public health achievement of the 20th century by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it warrants a closer examination before canceling such a program.
It is not hard to find facts about the benefits of maintaining optimal level of fluoride in community water. The CDC website is a good start. The American Dental Association or the Academy of General Dentistry is another source of science-based information. Yes, you can find “anti-fluoridation” propaganda on the web, but since the propaganda advocates don’t regulate the business of dentistry, medicine or community water, be careful about believing the diatribe they traffic.
CHRISTOPHER T. GRIFFIN
Past president, SC Dental Association